wo pressing questions persist as more and more educators jump on the collaborative education bandwagon: how and why. 🤔
For starters, creating a collaborative learning environment encourages students to work together to accomplish shared objectives while also giving them the freedom to express their talents and viewpoints fully.
According to a study, when students engaged in thoughtfully planned collaborative learning, their knowledge gains rose by an average of 17%.
Second, the next generation of technologies will enable more effective file sharing, communication, and collaboration to achieve the bottom line.
EducateMe keeps fingers on the pulse and will be addressing the current concerns in this guide. We'll explain why there's been such a surge in collaborative learning since the COVID pandemic, discuss the importance of this initiative to the success of teachers, and outline the steps for creating a collaborative learning environment that is adaptable to the changing educational landscape.
Here's a quick overview of how to set up a collaborative learning environment in four steps.
- Step 1: Adopt a culture of decentralized education
- Step 2: Use an efficient collaborative learning strategy or a combination of methods
- Step 3: Encourage knowledge sharing in your collaborative learning community.
- Step 4: Use a robust collaborative learning platform
Now, let's get down to answering the big questions. 🚀
What Is Collaborative Learning?
Collaborative learning describes any instructional strategy that calls for the participation of multiple learners (or both students and teachers) working together to achieve a common goal. Students collaborate in two or more groups to conduct research, develop an approach, or develop a final product.
Why Are Collaborative Learning Spaces Important in 2024
Educators have long used collaborative teaching and evaluating students for a long time, and to this day, it has been at the forefront of the teaching revolution. Research on collaborative learning found that as the number of interactions within groups increases, a multiplier effect occurs, and students become more aware of how to provide and accept assistance within their groups.
Taylor, the Chairman of the UK-based Learning Performance Institute, polled over a thousand L&D leaders worldwide to predict the most popular workplace L&D trends for the coming year. Their answers were as follows:
- Personalized/ adaptive learning 11.9%.
- Collaborative/social learning 10.11%.
- Next generation learning platforms 6.58%.
Undoubtedly, collaborative learning advantages abound for students, organizations, and top teaching managers.
✅ Students gain improved critical thinking, increased exposure to new points of view, and increased inspiration and confidence. Moreover, people can work together despite being geographically and temporally dispersed and performing their tasks at their convenience.
✅ Collaborative training in the workplace is a powerful method for enhancing workers' abilities.
Collaborative learning strategies can improve workers' efficiency, knowledge, and ability to think creatively and strategically. Use a method of distributed education. Companies can build resilient online communities that last well beyond the duration of a training program if they encourage participants to engage actively with one another throughout the training itself.
✅ The burden of educating students falls off teachers' shoulders when they participate in collaborative learning environments. Instead, they play the role of facilitators in collaborative learning, where students can build off one another's knowledge and skills.
When students are given more leeway to pursue their education in the way that works best for them as a group, teachers are better able to collect data on which teaching methods are most effective and pass on tried-and-true methods to their future classes.
How Has Collaborative Learning Changed Post-Covid?
Seeing how the landscape has shifted post-Covid will help us appreciate how important a collaborative learning environment is in today's world.
Learning Increased 178% Following Lockdowns
A report states that there has been a nearly 200% increase in education since March 2020. A rapid response from many groups was also observed, with training sessions covering crucial issues in health and operations. Amid the rise of teaching and learning in collaborative environments, we're seeing a fairly constant 90% rate of same-day course completion (the percentage of courses finished within 24 hours of starting).
85% more Creators Are Out There
Since the implementation of shelter-at-home policies, there has been nearly a 100% increase in the information passed around. The percentage of contributors has also increased, by about half, to a total of.
This tells us that knowledge sharing is crucial in today's remote workplaces. With more businesses going the remote route, it is becoming increasingly common for course development to be decentralized.
To further formalize tribal knowledge into courses for new employees, new customers, and new product releases, companies that have put in place practices to share tribal knowledge, facilitated by technology such as:
- knowledge bases: Notion, Confluence, and Google Docs
- Communication tools: Slack, Teams, Discord
The Use of Feedback Increased by 25%
Midway through March, when the lockdown began, there was a sudden increase in the percentage of students giving their opinions. Instant reactions and in-module forums encourage peer feedback and collaboration from as many as 25 percent of your class. This kind of participation and input is essential for enhancing the collaborative learning experience.
Virtual Collaborative Learning Often Incorporate Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, similar progress has been made in social-emotional learning. Many students gain valuable social and emotional learning skills with digital collaborative tools. Students who participate in group projects and activities together develop SEL abilities that will serve them well in their future endeavors. They build social skills, learn to make and communicate decisions, demonstrate empathy, and gain insight into their feelings through teamwork.
Throughout the pandemic, educators, parents, and students in California's schools were informed about SEL and mental health services via Facebook Live and Twitter broadcasts. The California Department of Education's SEL Twitter campaign, in particular. The WikiWisdom forum generated over 160,000 views, providing a platform for teachers whose opinions might not otherwise be heard.
Creating a Collaborative Learning Environment: The 4-Step Strategy
Here's how to build a collaborative learning space.
Step #1. Adopt a Culture of Decentralized Education
One of the most appealing possibilities is the creation of decentralized educational marketplaces. Blockchain will establish a novel, low-friction, low-rust setting to facilitate federated or multi-institution degrees. Instead of being forced to follow a predetermined curriculum from the top down, students would be able to pick and choose from the best educational options available (bottom-up).
Further, decentralized education encourages students to make their own choices and holds them accountable for the outcomes of those choices. This is because decentralization improves accountability and responsiveness to student needs and fosters better use of resources when it increases local participation in school management.
Step #2. Use an Efficient Collaborative Learning Strategy or a Combination of Methods
Collaborative learning strategies refer to a set of predetermined methods that are meant to direct and facilitate group study. The hallmarks of collaborative learning—including interdependence among group members, active participation, interactive dialogue, and co-creation of academic products—are supported by these strategies' frameworks and step-by-step processes.
Step #3. Encourage Knowledge Sharing in Your Collaborative Learning Community
When multiple team members contribute their knowledge, experience, and skills to organizational development, it is often more effective than if each member were to focus solely on their specific tasks.
Step #4. Use a Robust Collaborative Learning Platform
To succeed in the future, educational institutions must adopt social and collaborative learning platforms. Users can collaborate, share, and comment on the organization's educational opportunities when they do so on a safe and reliable network. We've categorized the solutions into two broad categories to help you make the best choice for your company's requirements.
In this context, special purpose software is a tool that performs a single task. As an example:
- Slack, VoiceThread, and Mirror are used in class discussions.
- Trello or Microsoft Planner for project management.
- Collaboration on documents with Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Office 365.
All-inclusive Collaborative Learning Platforms
In contrast, comprehensive platforms have tools pre-installed to aid in every facet of group-based classrooms. One of the most efficient collaborative-friendly LMS is EducateMe.
Want to Create an Immersive Collaborative Learning Space?
The platform optimizes your collaborative courses by providing an intuitive interface and a framework to build a successful cohort program. EducateMe also integrates relevant tools that make teaching and learning engaging. Integrated tools include;
- Zoom: for live sessions.
- Calendar: for reminders and to schedule classes.
- The tracking and analytics system measures learning progress, participation, and completion rates.
- Meeting recordings: A built-in tool that records live sessions and adds them to your lessons.
- Messaging: enables instant messaging and communication among participants
- In-app notification: sends reminders about scheduled activities.
Here's a video illustrating how to use EducateMe's online collaborative learning platform.
Students' satisfaction with their learning environment is if instructors focus on creating a collaborative learning environment in tandem with a culture that encourages innovation than when either factor is treated as an afterthought.
The nature of collaborative learning shifts the teacher's role from imposing their views on the class to observing and nudging the students toward the correct answers. Instead, everyone in the classroom, from students to professors to TAs, has their voices heard and their ideas considered.