Learning from Others: Building a Collaborative Learning Culture

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It’s time to talk Collaborative Learning!

As a nudge, here is a quick down-and-dirty definition:

Collaborative learning is the educational approach of using groups to enhance learning by working together. Groups of two or more learners work together to solve problems, complete tasks, or learn new concepts.
This approach actively engages learners to process and synthesize information and concepts.

Grasping collaboration barriers

However, in order to begin nurturing a culture of collaboration, we must first understand what is holding the team back. We must gain an understanding of why healthy collaboration doesn’t exist (or is untenable).

Our last Coffee Chat conversation, “Creating a Safe Haven for Learning,” was an excellent beginning. Now, let’s move from making the learning environment a safe place to making it a robust environment to share learning through collaboration. Further, how do we go about sharing learning gained in the class with the organization?


Why collaboration may not be strong in the class include:

  • A systemic belief of “My idea doesn’t count.”
  • Unclear collaboration processes: “I’m not sure it’s the right time to share.”
  • A culture that rewards competitive behavior over collaborative actions.
  • Teams are stuck or encouraged to remain in silos.
  • The business struggles with “Superiority Illusion”: the belief that you are better than average or “I’m better than they are, so I’ll do it myself.”
  • Fear of being caught up in groupthink.


Sound familiar? These thoughts might even be floating in your brain when you head into workshops or meetings that require collaboration and ideation. Here’s the thing about barriers. They never quite go away – they just shift, and it’s critical to mitigate what you can when you can.

We know collaborative learning doesn’t just benefit the learner. Organizations can also see strong cultural enhancements. In fact, here is a research report from 2018 about the “Effects of group experience and information distribution on collaborative learning, ” by Jimmy Zambrano, Femke Kirschner, John Sweller, Paul A. Kirschner.


This research paper examines how group experience and information distribution impact collaborative learning. Through a randomized control experiment, the researchers found that prior group experience positively impacts collaboration, and evenly distributed information among group members improves collaboration. And who doesn’t want that?

Other benefits include:

For the organization

  1. Develops self-management and leadership skills
  2. Increases employee skills and knowledge
  3. Improves relationships across teams and departments
  4. Improves knowledge acquisition and retention
  5. Improves employee retention and promotes workplace engagement


For the individual

  1. Turns learning into a truly active process
  2. Promotes learning from others viewpoints
  3. Teaches how to think critically and quickly
  4. Promotes listening to criticism and advice
  5. Develops public speaking and active listening skills
  6. Improves cooperation


The big question on the table on 02/31 is: How can we strengthen collaborative learning efforts and better facilitate participants learning from others?


For those of you in the Learning Rebels Community: This Coffee Chat fits into March’s Learning Theme of Collaboration and Exploration.


So don’t miss out. Register now.

#LetsDoThis ~ Shannon


Can’t make it in person? No worries. Register for this chat and receive the following:

✅ Follow-up email with resources and extra goodies

✅ Copy of the video recording

✅ Copy of the chatbox transcription

✅ Copy of the full session transcript

Mar 31 2023

11:00 am CDT - 12:00 pm CDT

Learning from Others: Building a Collaborative Learning Culture

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