Using Facebook to support training goals
Facebook can be an easy-to use, intuitive tool for trainers. It’s a great way for trainers, to stay in frequent contact with their participants and build a sense of community. Facebook can easily host an entire online course, supplement a classroom based or blended training course, or provide a space for training participants to engage and share knowledge, ideas and reflections on training.
Trainers using Facebook as a training tool, can replicate and substitute formal standard LMS learning management systems like Blackboard and Moodle. Facebook is where most learners today already live and access once or even more per day so you can easily communicate assignments, offer reminders, post notes, provide access to documents, videos, slides, message individuals or groups, host online discussions and real-time chats, and scheduling events. Learners don’t need to access other sites to reach the instructor or access instructional materials.
If you decide to leverage Facebook as a trainer to support your instruction goals, you can use your personal Facebook account to create fan pages or groups or set up different Facebook accounts for different purposes. The latter is a much better option, it's both easier and more professional to have a personal account with people who are really your “friends” and a separate business account that you use for your training participants and business contacts. The personal account is where you wear jeans and t-shirts, talk about movies, restaurants, post pictures of your family and your dog and the training business account is where you would post links to research, feeds of new information to past class participants, and share links to educational videos.
Post documents, power point slides and more using Facebook apps
“Google Docs” is a free google documents feature that allows you to upload documents, including spreadsheets, power point presentations, and set permissions for learners to view or edit them. If you just want learners to view the documents, Google Docs will generate a URL so you can simply share the link in a Facebook wall post.
Personality assessment tools
There are several apps (Survey monkey, Easypromos) that you can use within Facebook to create personality type assessments and quizzes that can be used as pre-work to support your training topic.
Click the link below for some sample self-assessment apps that you may find useful in your upcoming trainings
Video/photo posting contest
Leverage Facebook’s tools to enhance the learning experience by holding a contest or competition between classroom learning times for teams to post photos, videos from their working environment that supports key learning points from training. For example taking photos from the physical work environment that says something about the organization’s culture. Does it support or conflict with stated goals and values?
Use Facebook as an advance planner
Post agendas, objectives, links to workbooks or manuals..etc.. This will help you set the stage and clarify the course content for learners.
Organize a Facebook page posting ice-breaker
Invite learners to introduce themselves by posting a photo of their cubicle, or links to a favourite book on Amazon.com or invite participants to offer comments on the upcoming program by sharing their experience in the topic, their interest in the course, a question they want an answer for in class or something they need help with.
A Facebook group or page can help you continue conversations cut short by class time. If the training is structured around set meeting times, use Facebook to keep learners engaged and keep the learning going. Utilize approaches that will help learners become more mindful of their own learning, stay on track and in touch with one another, and help to reinforce new learning when the learning is back on the job. For example, post and start discussions on different pieces of the content or specific issues raised by specific participants like handling angry callers or ask for suggestions from other participants on suggestions for Janet on establishing herself as credible when she is so much younger than all her employees. What ideas do you have for her?
Create a “hot seat discussion
Split participants into teams and assign a date when it will be each team’s turn to be on the “hot seat”. Provide each group a piece of content, theme or issue form the course for which they have to research, collect links to articles, relevant videos or any other resources. They will then be in the “hot seat” to answer questions, facilitate conversation on the next training session.
Facebook promotes conversation and can help to reduce the space and power issues between instructor and learners; it helps to “ level ” the relationships and can support inter - learner interaction rather than just back - and - forth learner - instructor discourse often seen in traditional instruction. Even new users can quickly see the fun and value in connecting with old friends and family members. Facebook is a “sticky ” technology, pulling people in and back in as they check on their friends ’ updates, play games, continue conversations they ’ ve been engaged in, and check back to see whether anyone has made comments on things they have posted themselves. Facebook is undeniably popular, with two hundred million people checking in to their accounts at least once a day. It is therefore likely familiar to and comfortable for many of your learners.