The Science Behind A Successful Collaborative Learning Strategy
In a recent study conducted by researchers from the University of Washington, active learning driven by collaboration and interaction was proven to positively affect the academic performance of university students. More surprisingly, this study found that the absence of active learning can actually hurt a student’s chances of academic success.
This analysis gives us two revolutionary findings:
- Active learning leads to increases in examination performance that would raise average grades by half a letter.
- Students taught by traditional lecture-based learning are 1.5 times more likely to fail than students participating in courses featuring active learning.
This is an important conclusion for L&D leaders–especially given the current challenges in organizational learning. It confirms what we’ve been told our whole lives: actively participating in the learning process encourages learners to invest more and retain the information more effectively. Not only does this have huge implications for learning effectiveness–it also helps to unlock Collaborative Learning strategies to help boost employee retention and engagement.
3 Collaborative Learning Strategies To Employ
Science has also proven that by asking questions while learning, there is a significant increase in brain activity in both the learner and the subject-matter expert. In other words, asking questions increases engagement. This is backed up by the study of mirror neurons, which show increased brain activity in both student and teacher when involved in active learning.
That’s why it’s so crucial to feature human interactions at every step of your learning strategy. Rather than just setting a curriculum of course content and tracking completions, you need to make room for open conversation, dialogue, and collaboration. With the right practical exercises and strategies, you can encourage experts and learners to work together, share knowledge, and solve tough problems.
So, what are some specific Collaborative Learning strategies you can use to employ the science of active learning? We’ve got 3 great suggestions.
1. Double Your Engagement Rates With Internal Collaboration
Publishing a course should be a collaborative exercise. Rather than just drafting something on your own and shipping it, you can double your learner engagement rates simply by having other subject matter experts within your organization contribute their ideas and suggestions. But just how much internal collaboration are we talking about?
Our analysis of platform activity has found that engagement rates doubled when a course had at least three internal comments between two or more people. These conversations could be anything from co-authors strategizing on course content, or reviewers giving feedback to the authors of the course.
The main takeaway: Adding co-authors to your courses will help ignite ideas, improve content, and create an easy landscape for collaboration. So, get additional eyes on your new courses by assigning reviewers who can walk through it and provide useful feedback and edits.
2. Get 27% More Useful Courses With Regular Peer Feedback
On top of these insights around course creation, our analysis also shows that learners find courses that are updated regularly to be 27% more useful. This is great news for any L&D team: all you need to do is regularly update your course information to boost learner engagement.
The good news is that the right learning platform can make it incredibly easy to know when content needs to be updated. For example, with our Reactions feature, learners can seamlessly flag outdated or irrelevant content by responding with ‘I don’t get it’, or ‘this is outdated’. They can also rate a course’s relevance as useful or not useful to them. Authors and L&D teams are instantly notified and able to act lightning fast to update their courses. With an instant feedback loop, the right courses are updated and kept fresh, so learners get the information they need while keeping engagement high.
The main takeaway: Giving your learners the ability to offer regular feedback on the courses they’re engaging with can help you to build courses that are 27% more useful for your learners, contributing to more stimulating courses and higher employee engagement and retention. You just need to find the right way to build these reactions into the learning process.
3. Supercharge Your Response Rates To 75.9% With Tailored Questions
The final of our three data-driven Collaborative Learning strategies? You can supercharge your response rates by including tailored questions. That’s because these questions provoke the highest amount of positive reactions, with a staggering 75.9% conversion rate. In other words, 75.9% of the time that a question was asked in a course, a learner engaged and reacted positively to it.
Now, let’s dig even deeper. Across question types, there were two with the highest engagement: True/False and Hotspot questions. Asking questions throughout the learning journey has a ton of benefits. They’re a great way to gauge comprehension of content, helping L&D teams better understand and adjust courses to improve understanding of certain concepts. Questions also improve retention by helping learners recall the information they just absorbed.
The main takeaway: Using targeted and tailored questions lets you supercharge your learner response rates, helping to engage your teams in active learning and contributing to better course completion and higher learning outcomes.
When so many people are struggling to stay engaged in today’s workplace– especially from a distance–these tips offer more than just practical guidance for L&D teams. They show us that learning and development doesn’t have to suffer just because we can’t physically be together.
As the three strategies demonstrate, by ditching solo eLearning strategies and connecting learners to experts instead, we can harness human interaction to make learning active, engaging, and fun. We can create participatory experiences that give learners the tools they need to develop new skills, retain information and expertise, and learn from each other. Once your learners have these tools, they can ace their learning KPIs.
With Collaborative Learning techniques, we can transform the traditional role of the teacher or instructor. Instead, Collaborative Learning strategies encourage learners to declare their own needs, connect with subject-matter experts, and offer peer feedback to create and improve learning content to match urgent business needs.
We talk to L&D experts on a regular basis, and these discussions tell us that Collaborative Learning strategies focused on human interaction lead to better outcomes. With our learning management system, our users engage in 11 learning activities per day on average, with course completion rates boosted from the industry average of 20-30% to over 90%. This way, your teams aren’t just learning more; they’re also happier, more engaged, and more satisfied.
Looking for insider secrets to change mindsets about online training and get employees actively involved in the process? Download the eBook How Collaborative Learning Boosts Engagement Rates To Over 90% to discover how the collaborative approach breaks down barriers and maximizes your organization’s L&D potential.