Why is collaboration important? Creating collaborative learning zones and regular opportunities for students to collaborate allows them to constructively explore ideas to search for solutions. Collaboration is proven to lead to the development of more innovative solutions. It actively engages learners to process and synthesise information and concepts, rather than using the memorisation of facts and figures.
The benefits of collaborative learning include:
- Improves knowledge acquisition and retention (up to 50%!)
- Self-management and leadership skills
- Increases skills and knowledge
- Improves relationships and cooperation
- Promotes engagement
Designing less formal collaborative learning zones is rapidly becoming a primary focus of interest and innovation. The design of these informal spaces is based on learning pedagogy. This results in more intentional support for social and active learning strategies at all levels of education.
There are many recognised benefits from students engaging in small group learning in a collaborative learning environment, including a celebration of diversity, as students learn to work with different people and better communication between classmates. Classrooms are not the only form of learning space. While the classroom is assumed to be a primary location of learning, data suggest that the majority of student learning activity takes place outside the classroom. Pedagogy continues to shift to emphasize group activities and collaborative learning.
Learning spaces should include a variety of collaborative learning zones. Factors such as comfortable seating and furniture that supports a variety of learning activities are emerging as critical in the design of learning spaces.
WF Education has collaborative solutions fit for every space, creating more interactive, group-oriented layouts. We can design collaborative zones for learning spaces, libraries, and common areas, as well as incorporate these elements into specialised teaching areas, such as Science, Design, and Technology.
Classed as one of the 4 C’s and a core 21st-century skill, accessible collaborative spaces should be provided – spaces that foster easy interaction and communication.
Accommodates all types of learning: independent one-on-one learning, small group learning, and large group learning.
Supports reinforces and encourages the development of other 21st-century skills, such as critical thinking, creativity and communication.
Configurable in design or flexible in use in terms of both the physical space and how it is used. Fixed furniture should create zones adapted to the application and mobile furniture should be easy to move, enabling easy transitions between group and independent learning.
Creates an environment in which students and teachers feel comfortable engaging in a variety of teaching and learning styles, whether it’s the traditional sage-on-a-stage presentation or a combination of project-based and personalised learning.