Competency-Based Learning

Online Collaborative Learning with SkillBuilder® LMS

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Collaborative learning is a hot topic these days. It’s not only a highly effective way to learn, but also offers a break from the isolation of remote working. But to get the most out of this type of learning, you need the support of the right LMS. See what SkillBuilder® LMS can do to facilitate collaborative learning for your organization.

Online Collaborative Learning with SkillBuilder® LMS

Collaborative learning has been shown to increase motivation and improve performance, especially among underrepresented groups. In the past weeks, we’ve looked at activities and strategies you can use for online collaborative learning. Today, we’ll look at implementation and how your LMS can help you deliver the quality programs your organization needs.

1. Full forum functionality within the LMS

Forums are a key resource for online collaborative learning. They’re a great place to host synchronous or asynchronous group discussions. They also offer meeting places for smaller groups working together on collaborative projects and have the advantage of documenting discussions for instructor review and monitoring. In less formal collaborative learning, learners can seek assistance from their peers in help or troubleshooting forums.

With SkillBuilder® LMS, you can host and manage forum discussions directly from the LMS. The preconfigured integration with Disqus provides access to advanced forum software, including features such as:

  • Threaded discussions
  • Up and down votes
  • Real time commenting
  • Moderation options and facilities for instructors
  • Analytics for monitoring engagement

2. Schedule and access web conferences with the program of your choice

If you want to boost engagement and commitment in your collaborative exercises, you can opt for the face-to-face contact of web conferencing. It’s an effective format for group discussions, working group meetings, group presentations and role-playing activities. SkillBuilder® LMS will manage your registrations and connect your learners to conferences on your preferred web conferencing platform, whether it’s:

Web conferences and collaboration sessions can be recorded and posted to SkillBuilder® LMS for learners who missed the session or want to review the content. Instructors can also use the recordings to keep track of individuals’ contributions to the group and review any behavioral issues or troublesome group dynamics that develop.

3. Coordinate your collaborative activities with learning paths

In any learning experience, you’ll want your learners to be able to access all related activities from the same place. SkillBuilder® LMS offers two ways to do this. You can include your activities within a learning module or build a comprehensive learning path that walks learners through the process. Your learning path might include:

  • One (or several) eLearning modules to provide scaffolding for the collaborative activity
  • Links to discussion forums where groups can work on their projects
  • Assignments that form part of the activity
  • A web conference where working groups can present their conclusions
  • An online exam to assess individual achievements

It can be helpful to scaffold group development as well as learning content. Ice breakers and team building exercises offer opportunities for learners to get to know each other and start working together.

4. Manage program and learning event registrations

Registering learners for programs and activities isn’t usually a highlight of the job for administrators and instructors, but it’s one of those things that has to be done if your learning events are to run smoothly. SkillBuilder® LMS simplifies the process. Registrations can be managed and assigned by an administrator, or learning events can be set up to allow learners to self-register, a useful option when learners have a choice of multiple events as it allows them to select the times or topics that work best for them.

5. Track learner participation

Collaborative learning assessment often involves tracking learners’ activities, another time-consuming and tedious task. SkillBuilder® LMS is designed to help. As well as analyzing participation in the web conferences and forums mentioned earlier, you can generate learning item and learning path reports to see at a glance how your learners are progressing. SkillBuilder® LMS’s Learning Path Completion report lists:

  • Learner
  • Learner’s organization
  • Any groups the learner is a member of
  • Learning path
  • Assigned date
  • Activated date
  • Completed date
  • Expiry date
  • Learner’s status on the Learning Path

Want to drill down to a specific learning event? A Learning Item Report will show you who’s completed it and who’s outstanding. Additionally, all reports can be sorted and filtered to provide you with an easy-to-understand, uncluttered view of the data you need.

Conclusion

Choosing the right LMS enhances your online collaborative offerings by keeping learning activities in one place where they’re easier for learners to access; allowing you to use the same collaboration software across the board so learners don’t have to waste time becoming familiar with new programs; and allowing you to track and record collaborative events.

Wondering how to implement collaborative learning in your organization? Check out the following articles:

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Jill W.

Jill is an Instructional Designer at BaseCorp Learning Systems with more than 10 years of experience researching, writing and designing effective learning materials. She is fascinated by the English language and enjoys the challenge of adapting her work for different audiences. After work, Jill continues to leverage her professional experience as she works toward the development of a training program for her cats. So far, success has not been apparent.

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