Social media sites for personal learning

Publication Year: 
2016
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Sample size: 
n = 2084
Sample description: 

In December 2015, 3,563 people took part in a Towards Maturity Learning Landscape™

survey. These were individuals who were taking part in Filtered’s online programmes around the globe. They were largely familiar with online learning and able to select from a range of subjects to meet their needs. The study was set up independently by Towards Maturity to mirror earlier Learner Voice reports about learners in the workplace. 73% of the participants either fully paid or partially paid for their learning with Filtered. Some were indeed employed, but this group of learners were learning independently and in their own time and critically, paying for their own learning outside any workplace. In this report we focus on the responses from these 2,084 individuals.

55% of these learners were from North America/Canada, 27% from the UK.

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Learners in this sample were established users of social media for their own personal use, with 77% on Facebook, 69% on YouTube and 36% on Twitter. When it comes to using social media sites for personal learning, YouTube is king!  It’s vast repository of searchable, immediately available content makes it the number one choice to fill in missing skills. The familiarity, availability and experience of accessing YouTube should not be ignored by L&D leaders looking to engage staff in online learning.

However, the proportion using other social media tools for personal learning is significantly less:

  • 52% YouTube
  • 17% Google+
  • 12% Pinterest
  • 10% LinkedIn
  • 6% Facebook
  • 5% Twitter
  • 3% Instagram

5% are using in-house company systems such as SharePoint or internal social networks (e.g., Yammer) for their own learning, as well as over 20% using these tools for work.

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