Collaborative learning is one of the most effective training strategies being used today. Researchers and training experts see Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL) as an emerging paradigm of educational technology, so much so that one of the three key recommendations of the Learning Executive Think Tank (2010) was to create intelligent learning environments; that is, environments in which learning resources incorporate both social and collaborative components. Many studies, including a recent meta-analysis with more than three thousand learners, (Williams, 2009) are highlighting the benefits of collaborative learning:
- Collaborative learning benefits students in the development of higher order thinking skills and increased productivity
- Students who participated in collaborative learning had performed significantly better on critical- thinking tests
- Students working together are generating new approaches to solving problems that none of them knew prior to working together
- Students working in collaborative groups had more positive attitudes toward learning
The SAP Community Network (SCN) is a good example of this type of intelligent learning environment. With its collaborative learning and knowledge sharing service, the SCN supports the evolution of e-learning from a static event into an ongoing knowledge-sharing environment, highlighting along the way that immediacy and collaboration are more important than ever. On SCN learners find a huge amount of e-learning, can get in direct contact with experts around the world in forums and discussion groups, are able to share their knowledge and experience in wikis and blogs and can even prepare to boost their career with SAP certifications.
We at SAP Education would like to harness this momentum to create a new, vital Education Community and to further facilitate collaborative learning. Our questions to you: What do you expect from an Education Community? What is your vision of an Education Community? Share your ideas and feedback with us in our Introduce Education Community and ask for your expecation and requirements.