Social learning is a behavioral theory that posits learning takes place through observation and imitation. Learning is seen as a social activity, where professor-to-student and student-to-student interactions help foster curiosity and motivation among students. Several scholars have supported social learning theory including Albert Bandura, B.F. Skinner and Ronald Akers.
Social learning involves students learning from their peers. Interactions—whether face to face or virtual—help students derive meaning and value from certain areas of study. Behavioral scientists believe that there are four key pillars of social learning: observation, internalization, imitation and feedback. Social learning theory supports the idea that students learn by watching, listening and doing. It’s equally important for students to be able to differentiate between ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ behaviors when interacting with others, which is why feedback loops are so valuable as a teaching tool.