How to Use Collaborative Learning to Inspire Employee Development
Today we’ll cover a particular training method: collaborative learning. Research has demonstrated the multiple benefits of this corporate training tool which is becoming more and more thought after by business leaders. What is collaborative learning? Why should you offer this method to your employees? How to implement it? What role does the instructor play in this?
What is Collaborative Learning?
According to Canadian Psychologist Albert Bandura, the definition of collaborative learning comes down to the capacity to learn with and thanks to others. Knowledge and competency sharing lies at the heart of the collaborative learning method. It allows employees to develop and improve their skill set while training together and following a unified direction.
Social learning is increasingly appreciated by CEOs and is also very popular with employees. Indeed, more than 90 per cent of employees find that collaborative learning is essential to their professional development.
Why Should You Promote Collaborative Learning?
There are four main advantages to this method:
- It improves employees satisfaction levels. It’s no longer simply about making use of the latest technologies but more about humanising the learning and training process. Employees are no longer passive, they take an active role by listening to others while sharing their personal wisdom.
- It allows for cost savings. As collaborative learning is by nature based on exchanging knowledge, the investments are low. It can be easily organised within the walls of the organisation and boosted by using a set of free tools such as live messengers, social networks, and blogs…
- It reinforces team spirit. Sharing and collaboration are synonymous of solidarity. We can observe a true connection between the different teams and individuals with their organisation.
- It offers a dynamic approach to learning. Collaborative learning is about continuous improvement and is therefore part of a daily routine. Knowledge is constantly actualised thanks to regular feedback and experience renewal.
How to Implement Collaborative Learning?
There are two ways to implement collaborative learning within your organisation:
- Using dedicated tools, such as HRIS systems that include a learning module. An integrated HR software can contain an entire library of content and be used as a tool to share knowledge. This tool then becomes a true learning platform for your employees.
- Creating social learning opportunities. Learning and development can take place through the use of collaborative games, group work or Q&A sessions. Other examples of activities can include role play or even simple discussions between prospective learners.
What is the role of the instructor?
The educator will be charged with the mission of facilitating exchanges. This can include encouraging participants to take initiatives and develop partnerships with their co-learners. To do this, employees need to be educated about the different collaboration tools available. Last but no least, empowering employees by creating a positive learning environment in which people feel confident to open themselves is essential.
Do you use collaborative learning? What other learning method do you find worth considering for your organisation?