6 ways to support collaborative learning effectively

Viren Kapadia July 25, 2022
6 ways to support collaborative learning effectively

Change is the only constant thing, and in today's competitive environment, the skillset needed to survive or adapt keeps changing. The rise of globalization made soft skills essential in dealing with clients. The increase in digitization has made computing skills one of the most important skills.

Learning new skills is one way to climb the ladder in an ever-changing work environment. Learning is a never-ending process. So, even after achieving their career goals, professionals need to upskill themselves. However, constantly working on the skills to stay ahead of the learning curve separates competent learners from others.

To achieve such goals and upskilling oneself is an impossible individual task. Hence, people require support and help from each other to improve their skills. Collaborative learning is when such individuals come together to achieve their common goal of upgrading one common skill. In this blog, we will learn more about collaborative learning and go through six ways that support collaborative learning:

  • Identifying the Group Goals
  • Introducing the Jigsaw Techniques
  • Breaking the Ice
  • Enhancing Problem Solving and Critical Thinking Skills with Real-World Problems
  • Bringing Positivity to the Group
  • Using the LMS Platform

Finding the common goal, identifying the crux of the skills, setting the assessments and programs accordingly, establishing the group interactions, and focusing on real-world problems are a few of the key points to consider while planning collaborative learning. This is when Gyrus takes up the responsibility of improving your collaborative learning experience through its inbuilt AI analysis. Getting professional support like Gyrus helps in enhancing the collaborative learning program.

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Following are the tips that support collaborative learning.

  1. Identifying the Group Goals
  2. It is essential to set the group's goal beforehand as it helps identify the best process and assessments to achieve the goal. The size of the group is also determined as per the group goals. It is important to make sure that the size of the group is such that it doesn't make the process unmanageable.

    Assigning separate roles to individuals to achieve the goals also helps enhance and manage group efficiency and reduce work pressure on individuals.

    Taking assessments and tests at the start of the session helps you identify the group's strengths and weaknesses and helps designate roles for the individuals. The proper methodology is to target the weaknesses of the individuals and utilize the strengths of the individuals to benefit the group.

  3. Introducing the Jigsaw Techniques
  4. Social psychologist Elliot Aronson created the jigsaw technique to increase the group's teamwork. This technique splits up the entire group into smaller groups. A project is then divided into smaller assignments and is allotted to each group. The project is only completed when all the finished assignments are brought together, revealing the whole picture like a jigsaw puzzle.

    Splitting the group so that the smaller groups are diverse with an equal number of male and female individuals or individuals with diverse backgrounds or races is one of the most effective methods to bring the whole group together. It will take the individuals out of their comfort zones.

    One of the ways to use this method is to divide specific topics into smaller groups. These smaller groups will now become educators for that particular topic. After the allotted time is over, each group will share their knowledge about that particular topic with real-life scenarios, which will help them understand the concept more quickly and uplift the whole group's knowledge.

  5. Breaking the Ice
  6. A corporate workplace is filled with diversity. There are individuals belonging to different races, different regions with various accents, different cultures, and sometimes different countries. There are hardly any gender-based roles in corporates; hence you find a mixed-gender ratio in corporate offices.

    Hence, while forming a group for collaborative learning, it is bound to happen that the group formed is exceptionally diverse. Sometimes, the group has the majority of people from a certain group, which may lead to forming a smaller inner group. However, this defeats the purpose of a collaborative learning group as the group is not entirely whole.

    For this reason, it is the role of the group leader to utilize the techniques like a jigsaw in the group and form smaller, diverse groups for certain assignments.

    It is important to set up certain group rules that may help in further group interactions. It is important to start day one of the program by breaking the ice, giving each individual in the group a sense of comfort and belonging in the group.

    Breaking the ice can be done by simple introductions in the group, including some team-building activities by randomly dividing the group into smaller groups and giving them a simpler task like an origami competition for two minutes or assigning some random topic on which the group has to speak for five minutes. The group needs to stick together and put aside the diversity factor to achieve that group's collaborative learning goal.

  7. Enhancing Problem Solving and Critical Thinking Skills with Real-World Problems
  8. As a working professional, the collaborative learning group helps upgrade the skills that can be utilised in the work environment. Hence, creating artificial scenarios with no relation to your working profession will not be that effective. whereas, working with a problem or a topic of the profession that most of the people in the group are working in will make the learning process more effective as they can relate the topic with their project.

    Now that the project has been identified, it is important to design the assignment accordingly. The problems in the project will be real-life-based scenarios where the individuals will have to provide a good solution to them. Approaching the learning through such assignments will help improve an individual's problem-solving skills and give them insight into their own critical thinking capabilities. Furthermore, by sharing such real-life scenarios and individuals' solutions to those problems, will give the whole group a different perspective on solving the problem and enhance their insight into such situations.

  9. Bringing in Positivity to the Group
  10. Let's face it, the reason people join collaborative learning groups is that they themselves know that they lack that particular skill. Let's take the example of soft skills. Some people might have some command over the soft skills, if not more, but most people in the group might be struggling with them.

    Such individuals might struggle with the basics, making them feel uncomfortable. As such, it's the duty of the entire group and the group leader to especially create a positive environment in the group. These people may not feel uncomfortable, and the entire group will work with them to uplift them.

    Bringing positivity to the group by constant encouragement and focusing on the solution rather than the lack of skills will enhance the group's learning experience.

  11. Using the LMS Platform
  12. With constant workload and fast-approaching deadlines, it isn't easy to find a group for upgrading the skills or matching the timing of each individual in the group. It is a gigantic task.

    As such, LMS software comes in handy for collaborative learning. These platforms have all the courses required in one's professional career with the convenience of online learning. These platforms offer a variety of courses and also provide completion certification based on the final assessments.

    World-class LMS platforms like Gyrus Systems offer world-class learning catalysts with robust analytics and reporting. With the GyrusAim program, it is easier for managers to complete organizational compliance. Gyrus also allows one to personalize the learning experience for their chosen career path. It is one of the first in the market for mobile learning solutions to take the learning experience beyond the desktop. Gyrus also provides comprehensive analysis and insights about your learning process with real-time data visualization.

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    1. What is Collaborative Learning?
    2. Collaborative learning is the approach of using groups and teams to enhance learning by working together. In collaborative learning groups of two or more learners, work together to solve problems, complete tasks, or learn new concepts. This approach actively helps learners to process information and concepts. Learners work with each other on projects where they collaborate as a group to understand the concepts.

    3. How is collaborative learning different from traditional learning?
    4. Collaborative learning differs from traditional teaching approaches because the idea is that students work together rather than compete with each other. Research suggests that cooperative and collaborative learning bring positive results such as deeper understanding, better grades, improved self-esteem, and higher motivation. Cooperative learning helps students become active and constructive while taking ownership of their own learning.

    5. What are the essential goals of collaborative learning?
    6. The benefits of collaborative learning include:

      • Development of progressive thinking, better verbal communication, self-management, and leadership skills.
      • Promotion of student-faculty interaction.
      • Increase in student retention, self-esteem, and responsibility.
      • Preparation for real life social and employment situations.