The fast-growing trend of incorporating eLearning techniques and technologies into both the corporate and academic learning landscape has been vastly improved by the recognition that collaborative learning really is the key to success.
So what is collaborative learning? Is it similar to blended learning? And how is it incorporated into the best eLearning software in order to maximize the absorption of important corporate or academic materials?
Blended learning is another hot term on the market today, and it basically means that different forms of instruction and learning are "blended" in order to easier facilitate the learning process. For example, if part of your teaching/learning process includes face-to-face instruction, and another part includes online discussions, then you've established a blended learning environment.
In terms of eLearning, blended learning happens when corporations add eLearning software to their standard methods of conferences and in-house instruction. Examples include conferences designed to introduce materials that will later be brought up again in an eLearning environment or tutorial.
Academic environments are also famous for incorporating blended learning techniques by adding online lectures and discussions to their on-campus class structure.
Collaborative learning is something a bit different, and in terms of today's eLearning software, it is crucial for the success of any platform integrated into today's workplace or educational institution.
In its purest form, collaborative learning simply means that a minimum of two people learn something together. In terms of eLearning, the best programs available today focus on collaborative learning that will offer tools and features specifically designed to bring people together, to facilitate discussion of a particular topic, and to maximize the learning process while minimizing time used, and the "pain" factor.
What is the "pain" factor? Basically, it's the painful experience of struggling to learn a wealth of information in a short time, traditionally accomplished with long and boring conferences where no one learns much and everyone resents being there. The beauty of collaborative learning is that when a group works together, whether as employees or students, they are more invested in learning the materials and sharing their experiences than when they work alone. The social aspect achieved through collaborative learning is also a very important means of boosting morale, establishing comfort with co-workers or other students, and easing the process of learning itself.
Most people like to be social, which is why social networking sites are so popular today. The best eLearning programs actually rely on many of the collaborative learning tools seen in social sites, including shared videos and discussions, application sharing, wikis, and even video games.
Collaborative learning through eLearning also allows users to pool their knowledge of a single topic from disparate locations. Imagine conferencing with employees from Alaska, New Mexico, and London, each participating in a brainstorming session designed to boost global revenue.
Or, imagine studying Spanish by speaking with people in Spain, Peru, or Mexico City.
Collaborative learning has truly revolutionized eLearning both in establishing closer personal relationships with workers or students, and increasing interest in the materials and information addressed.
Best of all, when eLearning also facilitates social interaction, users spend more critical time engaged in learning important information, instead of gaining that same sense of social interaction in equally entertaining but ultimately useless social networking sites. And this appeals to everyone - students, teachers, workers, and employers.
To see more about the collaborative learning software, TOPYX, request a one-on-one demonstration with an Interactyx Executive at http://www.interactyx.com/eLearning/Request-Information.html.