Collaborative learning is an educational approach which involves groups of learners who have to work together to solve problems and complete tasks. In this CPD article, we will be looking at what collaborative learning is, why collaborative learning is important and the benefits of collaborative learning.
What is collaborative learning and why is it important?
Collaborative learning is an approach to education and teaching which involves individuals who work together on certain activities or tasks to reach a certain goal. This learning approach allows individuals to develop their decision making and problem solving skills and allow them to think more broad-minded. Collaborative learning is important in a wide variety of settings, such as school, university, and work.
It is important to implement collaborative learning in early education, however, it is equally important to use it in the workplace. When ideas are being looked at in group settings, delegates can articulate their points across and by doing so will get more of an understanding into the topic being discussed rather than working individually.
What are the benefits of collaborative learning?
Collaborative learning allows professionals to learn in a fun yet effective way. It also can help people develop useful skills such as problem solving and communication. Some benefits of collaborative learning include:
- Improved knowledge retention - When working in a team environment, the information that is being learned can be distributed amongst the entire group rather than one person retaining all the information. This means each individual has more capacity to process the new information that is being taught.
- Builds self-esteem - When working in a group environment, everyone is working towards a common goal. Team members are able to all work together to share their opinions and contribute to discussions, and people who may not usually feel comfortable sharing their thoughts with larger groups will have more of an opportunity in a smaller group setting.
- Promotes diversity - A collaborative approach to learning often brings together people regardless of their age, gender or educational level. Participants get to hear a variety of different opinions and perspectives.
- Inspires creativity - Individuals will be more inspired and allow their creativeness to show more if ideas are constantly being shared. One idea by a certain person may inspire another person with a new idea which they can then share with their team members.
- Improves communication skills - Communication skills are increased as participants use their verbal communication skills to share different concepts and ideas. There is also a chance for written communication skills to be improved if the task involves writing.