Do you feel your training sessions are dull and seem more like a chore than a valuable learning experience? We have some good news for you — collaborative learning is here to save the day! Collaborative learning is a dynamic approach that encourages learners to work together and learn from one another.

But how does it connect to other essential aspects of employee training, such as a Learning Management System (LMS), training plans, and continuous learning? Understanding the link between collaborative learning and LMS is like unlocking a treasure chest of engaging and effective training methods.

So, if you’re ready to become the manager who delivers top-notch employee training, let’s explore how collaborative learning and LMS can transform your approach.

What is Collaborative Learning and Its Importance?

collaborative learning

Collaborative learning is not just about listening to lectures or reading materials but engaging with others to better understand the subject matter. So, what are the characteristics of collaborative learning? At its core, collaborative learning involves:

  • Active participation: Learners are actively involved in learning rather than passively receiving information. They engage in discussions, group projects, and other activities, encouraging them to think critically and creatively.
  • Social learning: Learners work with others, sharing their perspectives, ideas, and knowledge. Through social learning, they gain a deeper understanding of the subject matter and develop vital interpersonal skills.
  • Shared responsibility: Learners take ownership of their learning and work collaboratively with others towards a common goal. This shared responsibility helps to build trust, accountability, and teamwork.

Collaborative learning increases engagement among learners. When actively involved and working with others, learners are more likely to stay focused and motivated throughout the learning process. This translates to higher knowledge retention, as learners are more likely to remember what they’ve learned when they have a personal connection to the material.

Collaborative learning methods, such as group discussion and practice by doing, have a retention rate of 50% compared to just 5% for lecture-based learning.


Collaborative learning also helps develop essential skills valuable in the workplace, such as teamwork, communication, and problem-solving. By working with others, learners gain a deeper understanding of their own strengths and weaknesses and how they can contribute to a team.

What Are the Benefits of Collaborative Learning?

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Unlike traditional corporate training, which is usually top-down, collaborative training is a more inclusive and democratic approach that puts the power in the hands of the employees. It is relevant, fast, iterative, and impact-driven, which means it is designed to meet the needs of modern workplaces.

1. Democratization

Traditional corporate training typically determines training needs by management or L&D, and learning materials are created or purchased accordingly. However, collaborative learning takes a different approach, democratizing the process and allowing anyone on the team to create a learning need or request training.

This approach enables employees at all levels to contribute to learning, increasing engagement and focus. Team members suggest training needs, and those with the necessary skills can create content to meet those needs. L&D then helps others complete the courses, ensures quality control, and provides learners with the necessary resources to succeed.

By allowing employees to declare their own learning needs, collaborative learning ensures they can learn about the topics they care about most. This leads to greater employee buy-in and smoother knowledge-sharing across departments.

2. Relevance

collaborate lms

Instead of relying on third-party courses or an L&D team creating all the content, collaborative training courses are developed by employees within the organization. This means the content is highly specific and relevant to your company.

In a traditional L&D model, courses are often created by a group of instructional designers with technical backgrounds, a process that can take months and be expensive. However, with a collaborative model, creating and fulfilling learning needs is a combined effort between L&D and employees.

This approach results in more invested and engaged employees and allows for creating quality content that doesn’t need to be purchased or sourced from external experts. As a result, the content is more nuanced and tailored to the organization’s unique needs.

3. Driven by Impact

Traditional L&D programs are often centered on course completion and deliverables, with success measured by the number of courses shipped and completed by employees. This approach provides limited insight into how employees engage with the courses or the effectiveness of the training. Additionally, it can be challenging to demonstrate the ROI of the training.

Collaborative training, on the other hand, focuses on the impact of training over time. By involving teams in the learning process, their feedback helps determine whether a course successfully achieves the desired outcomes. This approach provides greater visibility into the effectiveness of the training and allows for continuous improvement based on feedback and outcomes.

4. Speed

what is training

The current crisis in learning is primarily attributed to the slow response to training needs, which means by the time L&D teams realize there is a gap in their resources, it’s often too late to have a significant impact.

However, with collaborative methods, people can connect with each other to declare learning needs, share skills, and expertise, and quickly create learning content to address urgent questions. This approach enables organizations to respond promptly and effectively to growth opportunities.

5. Iteration

Traditional course creation has often been a slow and costly process, leading to infrequent updates and refreshes. However, collaborative training places a premium on ease of course creation and editing, enabling updates to be made more frequently in response to new information or employee feedback.

In today’s fast-paced work environment, iteration is critical. As technology and organizational structures evolve, course materials can quickly become outdated, and a static course design can impede employee learning and development.

By leveraging collaborative training, you can share information quickly and make iterative improvements based on feedback. This approach ensures that employees have access to the latest information precisely when needed, enabling them to make informed decisions and stay ahead of the curve.

What Does Collaborative Training Look Like in Practice?

what is training

While the benefits of collaborative training may sound promising, it can be helpful to understand how it works in practice and what advantages it can offer to your company.

Collaboration is effective because it allows for a more agile and decentralized learning process driven by peers within the organization. This means that learning programs can be more responsive to the company’s and its employees’ changing needs while promoting a culture of knowledge-sharing and collaboration.

1. Agility

Collaborative learning is a powerful tool that enables companies to stay nimble and adapt to changes quickly. With this platform, employees can easily create courses in minutes, not months, to keep everyone up-to-date with the latest developments in the industry, technology, or the world.

The problem with traditional L&D programs is that they can’t keep up with the rapid changes that organizations experience. The COVID-19 pandemic is a prime example of how unexpected events can force companies to adapt overnight.

Unfortunately, most learning platforms aren’t equipped for the quick course production. Even a single training course can take months to create, and L&D teams often rely on instructional designers to build courses, making the process costly and time-consuming.

Collaborative training solves this problem by making course creation easy and accessible to everyone in the organization. Sales, customer satisfaction, accounting, or any other department can create courses quickly and easily without outside help.

This accessibility opens up new training possibilities, including creating comprehensive onboarding courses, developing micro-learning courses tailored to specific positions or departments, and rolling out urgent content quickly to address temporary changes.

For example, when a company adopts new billing software, the customer operations team can create a course on best practices for using the software. Employees can start using the software immediately, and the course can be updated later based on feedback and questions.

2. Decentralization

decentralized learning

Having a solid company culture is vital in today’s job market, where employees are more inclined to switch jobs. Organizations can turn to collaborative training platforms to build a flexible, decentralized, and nurturing culture.

The issue with traditional corporate learning is that it often makes employees feel like cogs in a machine. Centralized learning programs focus on delivering generic training content to a large group of employees without considering individual growth opportunities. These programs can be expensive and ineffective and make employees feel undervalued and disengaged.

Collaborative learning, on the other hand, empowers employees to take ownership of their learning journey and contribute their skills and experience to a shared goal. This approach values every individual’s skills and ideas and creates a culture of learning that prioritizes impact.

Decentralized learning is a vital component of a collaborative learning culture, which allows employees to move forward in their learning journey at their own pace. This scalable and flexible approach makes it impactful for organizations of any size and location.

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For example, instead of mandating a generic reskilling program for a large group of engineers, an organization could encourage employees to set learning goals based on their unique aspirations and development priorities.

3. Employee-driven

employee driven learning

A collaborative training platform enables companies to leverage their employees’ potential as their most valuable resource. Rather than simply prescribing standardized learning content based on roles, it encourages teams to learn from each other. In short, it prioritizes people.

Currently, many organizations view learning as a one-way street, where L&D creates learning content and employees consume it. This approach, based on delivering skills to employees, doesn’t work.

Centralized content creation is deliverable-driven rather than results-driven, wasting time and money on courses employees ignore. The content is then poured into LMS systems designed for administrators rather than learners.

This method hasn’t been effective in the past and isn’t enough now. People’s media consumption habits have evolved to favor peer-driven content, as evidenced by the growth of billion-dollar social media companies.

LXPs are halfway to solving the problem by making finding and consuming learning content easier. However, the critical issue is the lack of engaging content that encourages community interaction.

The solution: Learning as a conversation, not a directive. Collaborative Learning is a bottom-up, peer-driven approach to creating learning content, making it more effective than traditional eLearning methods. Employees identify learning needs based on their knowledge gaps, and in-house experts create relevant courses. Everyone participates in learning together.

This method is not only democratic but also dynamic. There is room for conversation, feedback, and iteration, leading to more effective learning content and increased employee engagement.

Facilitating knowledge transfer and idea-sharing among employees doesn’t just improve performance but also fosters innovation. Course creators think like educators, using decision-making and critical-thinking skills to create the best courses. Teams may not be aware of the skills and knowledge present within their ranks, but once they are, the possibilities are limitless.

Example in practice: Instead of a sales enablement manager mandating pitch-assessment modules for all reps, she could allow reps to identify where they need improvement and suggest solutions. Then, she could create learning paths that offer the necessary support and guidance to improve.

What’s the Role of an LMS in Collaborative Learning?

training plan

Now, what does LMS stand for? It’s the abbreviation for Learning Management System — a software application organizations use to manage and deliver training and development programs. LMS provides an online platform for employees to access training materials, complete assessments, and track their progress. But did you know that LMS also plays a critical role in facilitating collaborative learning?

First, LMS software provides a centralized platform for communication, content sharing, and tracking progress. This makes it easy for learners to collaborate, share ideas, and provide feedback. For example, learners can use discussion forums to ask questions, share insights, and collaborate on projects. Informal learning via collaboration accounts for at least 75% of the knowledge people attain in the workplace

However, the benefits of using LMS for collaborative learning go beyond just information sharing. LMS also improves accessibility and scalability. By providing online access to training materials, learners can access content from anywhere, at any time. This is especially important for organizations with remote or dispersed workforces. And because LMS can be easily scaled, organizations can quickly and efficiently deliver training to large groups of learners.

In conclusion, LMS plays a critical role in supporting collaborative learning. By providing a centralized platform for communication, content sharing, and tracking progress, LMS makes it easy for learners to work together and collaborate. And because collaborative learning has been shown to improve engagement, knowledge retention, and skill development, using LMS for collaborative learning can positively impact organizations as a whole.

How to Incorporate Collaborative Learning Into Your Training Plan?

continuous learning

Creating a comprehensive training plan is crucial for employee development and company growth. One of the critical elements of a successful training plan is incorporating collaborative learning opportunities. To do this, you need first to understand the components of a training plan.

It typically includes the identification of training needs, the creation of learning objectives, the selection of training methods, and the evaluation of training effectiveness. You must select methods emphasizing group work and discussion to enhance your training plans.

Virtual meetings are one way smart way to achieve the same. With the prevalence of remote work, virtual meetings are an effective way to bring employees together to discuss and problem-solve. Discussion forums are another method that can be used to promote collaboration. They provide a platform for employees to share their thoughts and ideas, ask questions, and receive feedback.

Group projects are yet another illustration of a learning activity that can be included in a training plan. By assigning employees to work together on a project, they can develop their communication skills, learn from each other, and gain valuable insights into different perspectives. It also promotes teamwork and fosters a sense of community within the organization.

The above steps can yield multiple benefits. Employees can learn from each other and better understand the material by working together. This leads to increased engagement and knowledge retention. And as we already mentioned, learning plans with a collaborative approach also promote critical thinking and problem-solving skills, which are valuable in the workplace.

To support our claims, research has shown that incorporating collaborative learning into training plans can significantly impact employee performance. According to a study, 58% of organizations claim that collaborative L&D programs are essential for the success of their training goals.

customized elearning

What’s the Link Between Continuous and Collaborative Learning?

In today’s rapidly evolving work environment, the need for ongoing skill development and knowledge acquisition has become more critical than ever. Continuously learning and upgrading one’s skill set has become essential for individuals and organizations to stay competitive and thrive in their respective fields.

To facilitate continuous learning, it is essential to incorporate collaborative learning strategies that encourage individuals to work together, share knowledge, and learn from each other dynamically and interactively. By leveraging a group’s collective knowledge and expertise, individuals can accelerate their learning and stay up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices in their field.

Incorporating collaborative learning activities into a training plan can be a powerful way to support continuous learning. An LMS can play a vital role in facilitating collaborative learning by providing a centralized platform for communication, content sharing, and tracking progress.

By utilizing features such as group projects, virtual meetings, and discussion forums, individuals can engage in collaborative learning activities that foster ongoing skill development and knowledge sharing. This approach benefits individuals and promotes a culture of continuous learning within the organization, ultimately leading to improved productivity, engagement, and business outcomes.

Wrapping It Up

Many L&D teams are struggling with online training crises, with people finding it challenging to dedicate time and attention to training materials. The situation demands a significant solution to inspire and motivate learners to share their skills and knowledge.

A possible solution is to foster a robust collaborative learning culture in companies. This approach can lead to a highly skilled, enthusiastic, and dedicated workforce ready to overcome obstacles. It also provides the means to transform collective talents into a competitive advantage and promptly adapt to evolving learning needs.

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