Benefits of collaborative learning in the workplace
Technological advances make collaborative learning across global workforces much more achievable. Cloud-based digital learning tools ensure ease of file sharing and cross-team working, with online forums and Communities of Practice allowing engagement and knowledge sharing in a virtual space, be it in an informal or formal sense.
The concept of collaborative learning is nothing new. We see this in evidence in the workplace with project work requiring participation from team or cross-team members. This can be in short term projects or as part of longer-term company assignments. The idea behind collaborative learning is that by working together individuals can learn from one another to form communities of practice, an extension of the idea of “two heads are better than one”.
With the growth of the next generation workforce (NGW), employers are turning to collaborative learning techniques such as online forums as a way of engaging their workers.
Benefits of Collaborative Learning for Employees
- Employees benefit directly through knowledge sharing and a subsequent increase in skills.
- Collaborative working facilitates brainstorming and offers employees the potential to innovate faster.
- This style of learning empowers learners within the workforce to take control of their own learning and to demonstrate a self-directed learning approach.
- Introverts who may have struggled previously to engage in discussion, are more likely to do so via collaborative learning techniques in smaller groups for example in online forums.
- Collaborative learning activities encourage creative thinking skills in a workforce with learners having to think, articulate and receive clarity on their competencies.
Benefits of Collaborative Learning for Employers
- Shared learning can help facilitate cross-team working and allow for transference of skills, building a more knowledgeable and ultimately efficient workforce.
- This technique allows employees to foster relationships across remote offices, identifying champions of learning in certain areas and allowing for ease of rewarding.
- The Next Generation Workforce (NGW) wish to work in a collaborative organisation so applying this learning style will showcase the company as a forward-thinking workplace.
- Building an engaging workforce in this way can increase employee retention and job satisfaction.
Creating collaborative learning solutions for a growing number of clients, eCom can provide the advice and technology required to allow you to apply collaborative learning techniques within your workplace to form communities of practice. We have the skills and experience to guide you through the process from concept to creation to finished product.
Through our work with Andrew Carnegie Business School, eCom developed a virtual learning environment, providing an interactive element to previously static offline content. Incorporating an online discussion forum, users benefited from an area for relationship building and knowledge sharing. With assignments designed to take the learner offline there was a positive mix of blended learning.
Working with ICAS (Institute Of Chartered Accountants Of Scotland) we were able to provide a training solution that would facilitate peer to peer discussion, possess the ability to track and report on learning and offer an automated online assessment element.