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7 Top Benefits Of Collaborative eLearning

January 17, 2017 | By Asha Pandey

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Benefits of Collaborative eLearning

In today’s digital learning world, social interaction is a vital component. As hybrid work environments become popular, it is crucial to foster social connections to elicit participation from learners and maximize learning outcomes.

Collaborative Learning – Definition and Significance

Collaborative learning is all about learners actively engaging with each other online to reach common learning goals. Its significance lies in its ability to facilitate communication, collaboration, and knowledge sharing among learners, especially in hybrid work settings. When designed and implemented carefully, collaborative learning becomes a valuable tool for organizations to adapt and thrive in shifting work paradigms.

Key Components of Collaborative Learning

Individual Learning Goals:

Learners take on new challenges and explore various aspects of projects with the assistance and encouragement of their peers.

Delegation of Skills:

Collaborative learning involves delegating tasks and responsibilities within teams based on each member’s experiences, expertise, and interests.

Building Teams:

Collaborative learning enables strengthening teamwork among learners. They get to meet and learn from others who come from different places and walks of life.

Purpose of the Activity:

Working together makes sure the goal of the task is reached by everyone putting in their fair share. This creates a feeling of shared duty and trust among the team.

Our Learning & Performance Ecosystem: Facilitating Continuous Learning and Knowledge Transfer

The Learning & Performance Ecosystem we developed is carefully designed to promote continuous learning and smooth knowledge sharing. Informal learning is given critical importance through specially crafted channels, platforms, and other repositories that take into account individual preferences and learning needs addressed first. Personalized learning paths and microlearning help ensure skill development happens all the time, even when there is limited availability or time for learning, contributing to overall growth and development.

In addition, our focus on social learning platforms and inclusive practices enables the seamless transition of knowledge from experienced to new generations, increasing our collective expertise and promoting a culture of learning together. This “learning as a continuum” framework allows our organization to foster a rich learning culture in the workplace, promoting lifelong learning and growth among our team members. As a result, investing in our ecosystem not only increases our learners’ engagement and efficiency but also yields a higher return on training investments, hence ensuring our organization is poised for success in today’s rapidly competitive business world.

Top 7 advantages of Incorporating Collaborative Learning

Here are the top 7 advantages of incorporating collaborative learning activities into your learning programs.

  1. Builds Teamwork Skills

Collaborative learning involves group work. From online discussions to problem-solving projects, online learners must work tougher to achieve a common goal. As a result, they build vital teamwork skills, such as communication, conflict resolution, and leadership abilities. Collaborative learning activities also allow them to fine tune their Project Management approach. For example, delegating responsibilities and managing their time effectively. Thus, they become better managers and supervisors in the process. To facilitate teamwork skill building, you might consider online group collaboration projects that involve eLearning content creation. For instance, invite online learners to divide into groups and develop their own online materials. They must overcome challenges, assign roles, and stick to a schedule in order to create the finished product.

  1. Provides a Mutually Beneficial Learning Experience

Every online learner has the chance to benefit from the experience, skills, and knowledge of their peers. They can ask questions, offer their opinions, and express their concerns in a supportive setting. This is one of the main reasons why it’s important to create a list of guidelines for your learning groups. Outline how online learners should communicate, what tools are available to them, and how they are expected to handle conflicts. For instance, they must contact the team leader regarding issues that may affect the entire group. Ground rules ensure that everyone feels comfortable sharing their ideas without the fear of being judged or ridiculed.

  1. Online Learners Gain a New Perspective on the Subject Matter

Collaborative learning exposes online learners to new perspectives. They have the ability to interact with peers that they wouldn’t have known otherwise. Technology allows them to move beyond geographical limitations and engage in lively online discussions. As such, every member of your audience sees the subject matter from different viewpoints. For example, one online learner may approach a problem from a unique angle, thanks to their life experience and cultural background. These collaborative learning activities encourage online learners to respect the opinions of others and honor diversity.

  1. Improves Online Learner Participation and Engagement

Human beings like social interaction. It’s true, we prefer to go off on our own from time to time, but we rely on societal groups to communicate and share life experiences. For this reason, collaborative learning improves engagement and participation, as it appeals to our social needs. This is especially the case in smaller group settings. For example, closed social media groups with fewer members. Online learners are able to explore new ideas and concepts with peers from around the world, without venturing into a public forum.

  1. Facilitates Peer-Based Feedback

One of the most significant advantages of collaborative learning is continual peer-based feedback. Online learners can upload their assignments, write blog posts, and add ideas to the group message board. In return, they receive valuable input from their online peers. This allows them to identify areas for improvement and bridge performance gaps. However, this is yet another area that requires instructor or facilitator monitoring. For example, detailed guidelines for how online learners should provide feedback and how often. Learning professionals can use this form of feedback to improve the learning course design, as well. Many online learners will share their honest opinions and insights with their peers before expressing concerns to their online instructors. As a result, you can pinpoint problem areas in order to provide more effective learning experiences.

  1. Helps Online Learners Overcome Limiting Beliefs

More often than not, people aren’t even aware that they have personal beliefs that are hindering the learning process. This includes a broad range of cognitions, such as opinions, past experiences, and cultural influences. There may also be assumptions that prevent them from interacting with their peers. For example, they are misinformed about cultural beliefs or traditions. Collaborative learning allows them to test these assumptions and evaluate their cognitions. Every interaction is an opportunity to learn more about the backgrounds of their peers and appreciate their differences. Host a virtual brainstorming session to break the ice and get online learners thinking about their thought process. Exchanging information, asking questions, and laterally thinking can spark friendly debates and help them challenge preconceived notions.

  1. Fosters a Sense of Online Learning Community

Online learners may have to contend with feelings of isolation. This is primarily due to the fact that they aren’t in the same physical space as their peers or online instructors. However, collaborative learning helps you build an online learning community where online learners get the support they need. That being said, online learning communities don’t just suddenly appear. You must lay the groundwork by creating forums, social media groups, and learning blogs to facilitate the process. Encourage online learners to share their thoughts and ideas by posting a prompt. Or host a webinar where everyone can introduce themselves and meet like-minded individuals. You should also compile a list of online resources that online learners can use to collaborate. For example, recommend Project Management online platforms and provide links to your social media pages.

Collaborative learning gets your online learners engaged and interacting with their peers. They can explore different viewpoints, challenge their assumptions, and become part of an active online learning community. As such, you may want to think about incorporating collaborative learning activities into your next learning course.

Here are 2 case studies that demonstrate how you can foster social learning to facilitate participation and maximize learning outcomes.

Case Study 1: Cultivating a Learning Community

The Background: As the workforce went hybrid post COVID-19, EI needed a scalable solution that would facilitate a collaborative work environment and fuel interactions between the teams.

Our Solution: A device-agnostic learning platform with the following features:

  • Moderated Forums: Discussion forums dedicated to specific topics to facilitate knowledge exchange and peer-to-peer learning. Employees can engage with each other through likes and comments.
  • Dedicated Profile Pages: Individual profile pages that provide employees with a space to showcase their learnings and insights with colleagues, thereby adding to the collective knowledge base.

The Impact: With this social learning platform, we have been able to help our employees collaborate with their peers and learn about our processes and domain-specific topics in a simplified, informal manner.

 

Case Study 1: Cultivating a Learning Community Dashboard

Case Study 1: Cultivating a Learning Community Interface Description

 

Case Study 2: Fostering Competitive Learning

The Background: A global leader in medical technology wanted an ‘on-the-go’ learning solution for sales reps to improve their knowledge of the new products to be able to effectively pitch those to prospective customers.

Our Solution: A multi-player mobile gaming app where sales reps compete against each other to complete quizzes and get comparative feedback that drives motivation to excel. Learners are profiled based on their expertise and the products they are responsible for to ensure that they are challenged on relevant topics.

The Impact: The organization observed that a high number of games were played on average, demonstrating the engagement value of the app. They are now moving to a sustainable process of developing new content three times per year. This will ensure that the app remains attractive to users and provides them with new challenges.

 

Case Study 2: Fostering Competitive Learning-Description 1

Case Study 2: Fostering Competitive Learning Performance Parameters Overview

 

The Impact of Technology in Enhancing Collaborative Learning Experiences

Technology plays a key role in transforming collaborative learning experiences by providing innovative solutions to better connect and engage learners. Learning management systems serve as comprehensive platforms for organizing resources and tracking learner progress, while collaborative tools such as Google Classroom and Zoom provide seamless collaboration between learners in real time across geographic barriers.

In addition, interactive learning tools introduce gamification elements, enhancing learner engagement and retention of data. Artificial intelligence is yet another facet that enables customized learning journeys, tailoring instructional content to individual preferences, while virtual reality offers immersive experiences, deepening learners’ expertise of complex concepts and making learning more captivating and noteworthy. In essence, technology not only enhances collaboration between learners but also enriches their learning experience, making learning more interactive, personal, and impactful than ever before.

Parting Thoughts

Collaborative learning is emerging as an integral part of modern workplaces, offering a wide range of benefits for employees and businesses. By leveraging the capabilities of technology, such as learning management systems, collaborative platforms, interactive tools, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality, organizations can create dynamic learning environments that foster participation, teamwork, and personalized learning experiences.

Asha Pandey
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