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How we helped SPAR with a Social Learning programme

Social learning management is a complex mix of developing learning content and the social platforms to facilitate the learning process.

Social learning management is a complex mix of developing learning content and social platforms to facilitate the learning process. This type of learning goes beyond e-learning courses and programmes and aims to replicate engagement and discussion in online learning spaces.

In 2012, SPAR decided to embrace social learning as a means to facilitate leadership programmes.

It started out as an idea … when we were doing a “post mortem” on our SPAR Executive Leadership development programme called SLDP. This is a one year programme that involves 17 contact days over the year, the appointment and engagement of mentors and an external qualified coaches. What came out of the post mortem was a realisation that although we had all these process to keep learners engaged that the dots where still not connecting for them, resulting in a programme that could be less disjointed. In other words, learners where engaged during the block contact days and when the met with their mentors and coaches, but there was nothing keeping them engaged in the weeks between the blocks. We needed something to “hold/glue” the programme together and engage all stakeholders on an on-going basis. – Mike Nel (SPAR)

SPAR commissioned Mike Saunders to help them navigate the social learning space as part of their leadership development programme. Mike brought in the full strength of all three of his business interests to ensure that SPAR successfully implemented these practices.

TomorrowToday leadership and New World of Work consultancy developed leadership material for the social learning programme and consulted on the successful integration of social learning into the current leadership programme.

Digitlab, the social media agency, designed and developed the platform and joined the team to assist in support programmes and systems development.

Finally, imonline – a research and innovation company fronted as a hosting platform, were the key drivers of researching the potential and key success factors of social learning.

Mike had this to say about the project:

“SPAR have been incredible in the way they have opened up their minds to the possibilities of Social Learning. I enjoyed working with them to develop the systems and structures needed to get this project off the ground. I was particularly excited to see the impact social learning had on the leadership programme as it rolled out.”


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