We like to hear from notable people in the eLearning space, especially their views about social media and eLearning. Here we share an interview with Christopher Pappas, who combines the two fields so well. Enjoy some thoughts from Αθήνα (that’s Athens to most of us!).
Ann at QL: You are really friendly, as people quickly discover. Do you remember on which channel we first met and how? Seems like we’ve known each other forever!
Christopher: Although I meet the most professionals via LinkedIn, I am 100% sure that we meet online via Facebook. The truth is that I do not normally use Facebook for professional networking. However, after our online Facebook conversation I realized that Facebook can be used for professional networking as well. I did a post concerning the use of Facebook as an eLearning medium, and then you introduced me to the QuickLessons Facebook App [Izzui]. It’s an application that makes easy to create effective and engaging eLearning courses, and deliver them via Facebook!
QL: You are active on a lot of SoMe networks. What’s your favorite site and why?
Christopher: It is true that I use several social media networks. Since, I am indeed a social person who loves to share knowledge, listen carefully, and learn (lifelong learner) my favorite social media network is LinkedIn. However, I am Twitter addict as well with 10K+ followers. I am very happy because a few days ago I was recognized on The Top 20 most influential tweeters in learning technology!
QL: What are challenges, perks, etc. of founding a LinkedIn Group? How does your group differ from other eLearning groups on LinkedIn? Do you have any special rules?
Christopher: In May 2008, I created the Instructional Design and eLearning Professionals’ Group at LinkedIn, which currently has 29K+ members all over the world. To build an online community of professionals involved in the eLearning industry isn’t easy. This is why we have developed specific group rules, such as:
- Be a real human being: Encourage members to sign up with their email address and real name. Limiting membership to real participants keeps the conversations constructive and means no one has to deal with anonymous trolls.
- Aim for respectful, constructive conversations: Without constructive feedback and debate, a community won’t be able to achieve its collective goal. Without respect and civility, constructive feedback and debate is impossible.
- Be relevant: Ensure members keep posts on-topic and in the correct category of the group. Keep any other comments relevant to the content they’re attached to.
Here’s a list of behaviors I recommend that community members avoid. Do not:
- Harass or insult other members: Making personal attacks, insulting other members, or discussing a specific member in a negative way is not ok. The two golden rules are: if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all; and treat others as you’d like them to treat you.
- Post private information: Do not publicly reveal information like your email address, phone numbers or addresses.
- Spam: Spam is posting the same message repeatedly across online community. Spam is sending the same message to multiple members or promoting or advertising external services, websites or other products.
Our group differs from other eLearning groups not only because of the group rules but also in the process that we follow to approve new members. For example, to approve a membership at the Instructional Designers and e-Learning Professionals’ Group we review the professional profile on LinkedIn. If the member isn’t involved in the eLearning industry, they will not be accepted.
Some of the rewards of being a member of our group are the opportunities to develop a global understanding of the eLearning industry, find new friends, new colleagues, and new partners. My personal rewards are the continuing everyday communication and collaboration with professionals across the globe.