The “lone wolf” figure is all very well for Westerns and Jason Bourne movies, but when it comes to learning and development, a classroom — whether physical or virtual — full of enthusiastic participants is always a better bet.

Research through the years has shown that collaborative learning produces better outcomes than individual or competitive efforts, regardless of cultural, socioeconomic or geographic factors. Working together typically results in higher achievement and productivity; fosters more diverse, supportive and committed professional relationships; and creates a sense of belonging. Most compellingly, collaboration actively engages learners and gives them an opportunity to contribute to the group’s efforts and legitimately share in its rewards.

What do we mean by collaborative learning?

It’s usually defined as two or more individuals working together to achieve a common goal, whether it’s solving a problem, designing a product or service, or completing a project. By pooling individual contributions, teams can achieve their objectives faster and enable participants to develop new skills and expand their knowledge along the way.

NovoEd’s online learning program is designed to enhance the potential of this type of learning experience. In best-use cases, it produces the critical capabilities and deep skills — leadership, innovation, collaboration, and design thinking — that make employees more adept at operating in a fast-paced, highly distributed global workforce.

In organizations with potentially thousands of employees on multiple continents, NovoEd’s collaborative learning can mean virtual instructor-led workshops, self-study sessions with articles and videos, peer feedback, group discussions, and a final project — all of it handled online on mobile, laptop or desktop devices instead of in costly, time-consuming in-person meetings or workshops. Moreover, the NovoEd platform allows for manager engagement and virtual mentor coaching, both of which are crucial in sustaining high-impact learning and scaling culture and performance change.

Aligning the R&A Ledger (Responsibility and Accountability)

The timing is right for a mash-up of a collaborative learning system and an efficient, scalable online learning platform. “Changing the way employees learn” is an “important” or “very important” issue to 86 percent of the organizations surveyed in the Deloitte 2019 Global Human Capital Trends report.

Research shows that the skills with the greatest impact on individual and organizational performance are best learned in concert with other people. For example, collaborative activities greatly increase a sense of responsibility in individual participants. They know they must commit to an assignment in order for the entire team to succeed. Accountability is also fostered: Teammates are highly aware that the group will soon know if they’re only along for the ride.

More Than One Way up the Mountain

Well-designed collaborative learning can shift attitudes, behaviors, and mindsets at scale, improving organizational performance quickly.

Well-designed collaborative learning can shift attitudes, behaviors, and mindsets at scale, improving organizational performance quickly. Exposure to problem-solving strategies from a broad array of colleagues can boost the sense of achievement, thanks to the concept of “higher-level thinking skills.” Participants develop these skills when they encounter ways of approaching a task that differs from their own.

Networking for Learning, Conflict Resolution and Agile, Creative Solutions

The freewheeling exchange of ideas and feedback in a collaborative environment catalyzes the growth of personal learning networks that nurture and sustain the capabilities of individual employees. Tapping the wisdom, talent, and perspectives of peers and experts from all over the globe creates a more connected organization that’s agile, responsive and customer-centric — key qualities that are essential for success in today’s rapidly evolving business conditions.

Cooperative learning also offers social benefits. By working together, participants at all levels learn effective communication and interpersonal skills. They learn to listen to each other, resolve conflicts and generate creative solutions. Collaborating in this way helps bring people together, leading to overall better professional relations.

Helping the Organization by Knowing Thyself

Collaborative work even helps individuals learn more about themselves. Through group participation, team members discover whether they are leaders or followers, if they actively listen to others’ ideas, if they are able to articulate their own ideas effectively; and if they are hesitant to share their ideas for fear of ridicule or rejection. With NovoEd’s thoughtfully designed learning experience, such discoveries can be made.

Upcoming NovoEd Product Tour – A Collaborative Online Learning Platform
Join us to learn more about how NovoEd’s online learning platform can help you improve your team’s learning potential. Our product experts will showcase key NovoEd features that enable your organization to build capabilities that matter most through Real Learning. Register now >>