Experts usually recommend different methods for teaching and learning. One of the methods that has a lot of fans and has useful results is the method of collaborative learning. In this educational approach, groups of two or more learners work together to solve problems, complete assignments, or learn new concepts. In this article you will read about what is collaborative learning and what are the benefits.
What is collaborative learning?
The learning method through collaboration, instead of memorizing facts and figures, actively engages people in the processing and synthesis of information and concepts. Learners work on projects together and gain a fuller understanding of the individual working by defending their positions, listening to other perspectives, and expressing their opinions.
Theories of collaborative learning
There are differences between theories of collaborative learning, but in general, collaborative learning is based on the notion that learning is a natural and social practice, and that learning occurs through talking, trying to solve problems, and trying to understand the world. In the following, we will examine two examples of the first theories of collaborative learning.
1. Vygotsky’s theory of social development
Le Vygotsky’s theory of social learning emphasizes the importance of social interaction for the development of learning and cognition. He believed that groups and communities are an important factor in the process of creating meaning and knowledge. Vygotsky’s theory examines learning from a socio-cultural perspective, arguing that individual growth does not occur without knowledge of social and cultural contexts. He believed that talking plays an important role in the development of thought and that talking to more knowledgeable people improves understanding.
۲. Piaget’s theory of cognitive development
Jean Piaget sought to understand how infants and children develop their understanding of the world and how they can use reason to form hypotheses. According to his hypothesis, as children grow older, they better understand the world around them and realize the differences in their perceptions with their experiences, then correct these differences by reorganizing their mental processes. Piaget believes that the processes of absorption and adaptation require an active learner, because the child must seek to discover problem-solving skills. In this process, the child must interact with physical and social environments to learn.
The benefits of collaborative learning
Now that we have defined this method of learning, we want to examine why we should use this method at all. Collaborative learning has tremendous benefits for both the group and the individual. Here are some of the most important benefits of this method.
1. Develops self-management and leadership skills
When people work together to achieve a common goal, they are given the opportunity to develop their skills. In collaborative learning or collaborative learning, individuals are forced to organize, allocate, and train, and thus learn how to manage themselves and others while leading constructively.
۲. Increases staff skills and knowledge
When employees of an organization participate in collaborative learning, they develop a wide range of skills and knowledge. They not only strengthen their current skills by teaching others, but also learn new skills from others. This reduces the need for formal training and at the same time encourages people to constantly seek out skills in familiar concepts and to engage with new concepts.
One of the important skills that is strengthened in this method is the skill of listening. In this situation, one should listen carefully to all the comments and review them. According to research, a person learns better when exposed to different perspectives, especially by people with diverse backgrounds.
3. Improves group and departmental relationships
Usually when individuals are trained or working, their ability to communicate and work in groups becomes difficult. In collaborative learning, good people learn to speak in front of an audience, challenge ideas, and build a framework of ideas in relation to others. Strengthening these skills helps people both socially and in the workplace. Collaborative learning forces people to make new connections and find ways to work together. This advantage can be especially useful for organizations that do telecommuting, as it is a little more difficult to build strong connections between telecommuting partners.
4. Improves knowledge acquisition and retention
Studies have shown that the use of collaborative learning can lead to increased participation and better knowledge retention. The collaborative learning process allows participants to think more accurately and make the information they have or the information they gain more lasting.
5. Increases people’s performance efficiency
Employees who are given the opportunity to learn new skills have more job satisfaction and are less likely to look for other job opportunities. Satisfied employees have more productivity and show this productivity with more efficiency and effectiveness.
6. Makes learning an active process
In the collaborative learning method, the learner must organize his thoughts and present a coherent argument to express his opinion that can be defended and persuaded by others. This active participation means that the individual acquires more knowledge and learning becomes an active process.
7. Teaches how to think critically and quickly
In the collaborative learning method, the person must quickly combine the answers and, if he / she realizes that the other party’s argument is incorrect, adjust his / her ideas at the same time. In other words, one learns to think critically and quickly while thinking critically while receiving new information and adjusting one’s point of view by introducing new ideas.
Examples of collaborative learning activities
There are many ways to enhance participatory learning in an organization, some of which are:
1. Group problem solving
Gather the different groups together and present them with a problem to solve. Specify the desired results and then let people work together. Finally, groups should present the results of their work, justify their choices, and explain their plans for doing the work.
۲. Development of new products
Collaborative learning can be unique when it comes to developing new products. Groups can work together to identify relevant positions and create product concepts. After presenting their products, a Q&A session can help further develop the idea, as they defend their ideas and respond to criticism.
3. Explain the concepts for the other sections
Ask people in each section to explain the work of their section to other sections by providing explanations. They need to explain to others what they are doing and talk about some current issues. The advantage of doing this is that you can arrange a Q&A session and ask people in other sections to share their experiences to help solve current issues in this section.
In this article, we learned about the concept of collaborative learning and realized that collaborative learning at any age can have its own benefits. what is your opinion? Do you have experience in collaborative learning? We are happy to know your opinions and experiences in this field. How can you share your valuable experiences with us and our dear audience by posting a comment?