“The greatest achievements come when people work together.”
― Joseph Rain
According to Brandon Hall’s 2014 Social and Collaborative Learning study, 85% companies had started experimenting with social learning and organizations were expected to increase their focus on social and collaborative learning by 2015.
Learning from our peers is nothing new, we’ve been doing it from the beginning of our history.
Here are some benefits of collaborative learning:
- Improves workplace productivity
- Facilitates teamwork and streamlines workflows
- Allows employees to work together with trainers to enhance learning through interactions
- Allows users to share their knowledge, for the benefit of everyone
A Learning Management System (LMS) has many features to augment social learning at the workplace. Let’s look at them in detail.
Discussion forums facilitate online communication among employees. They can post their queries on a forum that is open to be answered by other employees. Trainers can monitor and moderate these discussions to ensure they go in the right direction, and this benefits everyone. Critical thinking and personal feedback are also possible through discussion forums on an LMS.
Online Chat Options
The chat option in an LMS enables employees to communicate with trainers or colleagues, and facilitates learning in a real-time environment. It can also be a group chat to improve communication and provide congenial conditions for cooperative learning.
Learning is instantaneous, with trainers or colleagues available online to give immediate information. Learning from peers, therefore becomes fast.
You can set up two types of chat in an LMS:
- One-on-One Chat
- Group Chat
One-on-One chat facilitates communication between two users; they can chat directly without being interrupted by others. Usually, this is between a trainer and the trainee. Two employees can also chat with each other.
Group chats allow you to create multiple chat rooms and give access to selected users to participate in the discussion. Learners can discuss a particular topic and share their learning.
An LMS can offer blogs, journals, and wikis to share ideas within the learning community. Podcasts are also available for audio recordings.
Employees can post their blogs on a particular topic or the latest developments in their domain, to enhance subject knowledge. Trainers can transfer knowledge by writing blogs on subjects related to the workplace, skills to be improved, and other issues. Employees can participate by reading, giving comments, and sharing with others. This enhances the combined learning experience.
Employees can send their queries on the training or e-learning courses to trainers and SMEs via the message, conversation, and e-mail options in an LMS. When the trainer is offline, employees can send their queries via messages or e-mails. Trainers will be able to see these messages on their dashboard, when they are online or login to the LMS.
Trainers can distribute group-wise course content to specific learner groups and assign training activities or assessments to particular user groups. Employees can also submit their project work online, for review or grading.
To enhance the collaborative learning features of your LMS, check our free e-book: How to Harness Moodle LMS Efficiently to Meet Your Training Needs.
Let’s explore a few more collaborative features.
An LMS allows you to make announcements on training schedules. For this, the LMS should have an announcement option on the group or community pages. Trainers can post information on various subjects or announce future training activities. Announcements can consist of content in the form of text, images, videos, and external web links.
Sign-up lists are added to a community or group of learners to facilitate team work, share tutorials, and work on group projects.
Polls and Surveys
These help to know the pulse of users or employees on a training program or an e-learning course. Polls and surveys in an LMS are an excellent option to collect feedback related to training.
Utilize these features of your LMS and provide your learners a collaborative experience.