I want to be a good Collaborator

Collaborative learning is a widely adopted instructional method for learners across all ages, be it in Schools, Institutes of Higher Learning and even in the workplace. Moving away from the traditional passive learning environments in which the teacher conveys knowledge and the student responds (Chen, 2009), collaborative learning facilitate learners to interact, explore and collaborate in the course of learning. In the rapidly changing and disruptive environment, collaborative learning is becoming more important for co-creating solutions to overcome complex problems and develop human-centric products and services.

From being a member participating in a number of collaborative learning teams to that of a facilitator supervising learning and adopting this learning methodology for group projects, I witnessed the range of benefits learners attain while working in a collaborative group setting. These benefits include insights gained by learning from peers, better ideation for creative solutions, building trust within the team to achieve common goals, gaining self-confidence through the support from team members and developing one’s communication and social skills.

As collaborative learning allows learners with different backgrounds, culture, race, values and beliefs to come together and solve a given or identified problem, it is vital for educators and teachers to provide an appropriate balance between learning structure and learner autonomy. By supporting the students in their search and supply of relevant material, the role of an educator in this unique approach is that of a facilitator or coach (Wang, 2006). With student-focused curriculum design and relevant learning content, collaborative learning can be an effective methodology to facilitate self-directed, personalised learning (Beaudoin, 1990; McLoughlin & Lee, 2010) for learners.

Learning technologies play a vital role in supporting remote learning for students and educators to deliver online learning globally – as we have witnessed in the Covid-19 pandemic currently. With this unprecedented need, most educational institutions and policy makers have no option but to exploit technological and pedagogical integration in the education landscape. With reliable learning technologies, it facilitated communication between educators with their students, particularly to discuss, learn and clarify learning content. In the same vein, education institutions have also started exploring the use of cloud computing for educational researchers, mainly to overcome the problem of tacit knowledge transformation in an online/blended setting (Uden, Liberona, & Welzer, 2014). Hence, it is timely for educators and teachers to embrace relevant learning technologies for effective collaborative learning.


Beaudoin, M. (1990). The instructor’s changing role in distance education – The American Journal of Distance Education, 4(2). [verified 8 May 2010] http://www.c3l.unioldenburg.

Chen, C. (2009). Personalized E-learning system with self-regulated learning assisted mechanisms for promoting learning performance.

Uden, Liberona, & Welzer, (2014). Learning Technology for Education in Cloud

Wang, Y. (2006). Technology projects as a vehicle to empower students.

Teaching and Learning through Collaboration