Potential Pitfalls: 3 Common Collaborative Learning Mistakes (And Top Tips To Avoid Them)

Potential Pitfalls: 3 Common Collaborative Learning Mistakes (And Top Tips To Avoid Them)
Summary: Get these details right, and you can avoid one of the biggest Collaborative Learning mistakes: confusion for your learners. Let's explore the top 3 potential collaborative learning mistakes and avoid to avoid them altogether.

Common Collaborative Learning Mistakes To Avoid

Adopting a culture of Collaborative Learning involves a lot of changes for organizations. And like every big change, it takes the right planning to succeed. Here are 3 of the most common Collaborative Learning mistakes, and what you need to do to keep things on track and realize the true benefits of Collaborative Learning.

How Collaborative Learning Boosts Engagement Rates To Over 90%
From benefits to tried-and-tested strategies, this guide has everything you need to launch a successful collaborative learning program for your remote workforce!

1. Being Unclear In Your Internal Communications

Changing your learning culture is a big undertaking. One of the most common Collaborative Learning mistakes we see involves a lack of clarity with internal communications. If your teams are used to traditional approaches to learning where priorities and courses are set from the top-down, switching to decentralized learning and microlearning examples can take some time to get used to.

Be sure to give your teams plenty of notice about the change, and give everyone the opportunity to familiarize themselves with your new platform ahead of time and be clear about your Collaborative Learning goals. This is a great way to debunk some of the most common Collaborative Learning myths: for example, that everyone has to learn everything together at the same time, or that everyone needs to sign off on new content material before it goes live.

Remember to be especially clear about what this transition means for your learning targets and how these are measured. For example, if you’re switching from an activities-based set of learning targets (e.g. the number of courses completed) to an outcomes-based set of targets (e.g. new competencies gained as the result of learning), these will need to be reflected in your performance planning. It’s also crucial to get employee feedback during this transition, and let people know they’re being heard.

After all, people are about to encounter a whole new world of learning–it’s only natural that they might have a few questions to ask! They might not understand the true capacity of your Collaborative Learning platform to generate social interactions, for example. Or, they might be concerned about their existing libraries of SCORM-based learning still being available after the switch (which they will be, because 360Learning is SCORM-compliant!). Whatever it is, give people the option to have their say during this process.

2. Failing To Trust Your Teams To Define Their Own Learning Priorities

A lot of companies are so used to top-down, prescriptive models of management and learning that they find it challenging to consider a decentralized, learner-centric style of learning. Sometimes, this can lead to our second big Collaborative Learning mistake: failing to trust your teams to define their own learning priorities.

Being placed in the driver’s seat of your own learning goals is a liberating thing, and is one of the key contributors to higher rates of employee engagement with Collaborative Learning. But if your leadership and management don’t trust your teams to make decisions for themselves, and if they keep swooping in and prescribing courses and activities, then you risk undoing all of that great work you’ve done getting to this point.

For a lot of organizations, this culture shift is easier said than done. The key is to take things piece-by-piece, and try not to transform your entire approach to organizational learning in a single afternoon. The best way to prove the value of this new learning approach and get leadership to avoid making this big Collaborative Learning mistake? Let them see the level of subject-matter expert engagement and collective knowledge-sharing possible with Collaborative Learning, and track clear metrics around learner engagement and results. That way, they won’t have to just take your word for it.

3. Not Knowing How To Embrace The New Role For L&D

Collaborative Learning has big implications for the way L&D teams deliver learning outcomes. Instead of having to schedule courses, follow-up with learners on their completions, and send out requests for feedback, L&D teams can become coaches, facilitating an environment where learning happens between peers. This creates new opportunities to focus on what matters. At the same time, it can be a bit disorienting, especially for L&D teams who may be used to traditional learning methods. That’s why it’s important to avoid a major Collaborative Learning mistake and give your L&D team plenty of time to understand their new role as learning coaches and facilitators.

In contrast with dedicated training departments, with Collaborative Learning, coaches are responsible for scaling learning outcomes. As peers create more courses, coaches guide people through their learning experiences, ensuring that learning needs are met with the right courses, and ensuring that courses are as effective as possible. This new role helps L&D to take track exactly how Collaborative Learning is driving growth and improving learning outcomes.


So, that’s a sense of how to avoid three common Collaborative Learning mistakes. With all that in mind, let’s take a look at how organizations can choose the right Collaborative Training platform to fuel business growth.

Looking for insider secrets to change mindsets about online training and get employees actively involved in the process? Download the eBook How Collaborative Learning Boosts Engagement Rates To Over 90% to discover how the collaborative approach breaks down barriers and maximizes your organization's L&D potential. Also, join the webinar to learn how to hit 90%+ learner course completion with collaborative learning.

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