As a learning professional, you must have heard a lot about collaborative learning. Is this some kind of a panacea for all learning and training needs? Collaborative training is not something new. It has always been there, particularly when projects required close working among team members. It has come under the spotlight these days, because of its enhanced potential, given the technological landscape and possibilities.
In a corporate context, this means that employees can collaborate, with not just their immediate colleagues, but also those who are located at different geographical regions. They can have access to the expertise of mentors, who may be located at a remote work area.
How can this be made possible for eLearning solutions?
Let’s say a sales person has just completed an online product training course, uploaded on the organization’s learning management system. He has certain queries or experiences about the product, which he wishes to share with his peers across the organization – may be some installation problems or troubleshooting queries he encountered, while demonstrating the product to his customers. He could check with his immediate colleagues to find answers, but they may not always be able to help. What if there was a platform, where he could share these issues to a larger group?
A collaborative training environment could be built as a part of an integrated eLearning solution including blogs, wikis, discussion forums, chat and so on, where members of the community/organization can interact and resolve issues they encounter, in their day to day work environment. Employees in large organizations may not have access to experts located at a distance. Expert guidance and mentorship can become easier, with access to key individuals within the organization through the learning platform. This way, learning becomes an on-going process, which helps employees in their jobs and is not an isolated event.