Over the years, collaborative learning spaces have risen in popularity: increasingly, lecture-based classrooms with rows of neatly-arranged desks are being switched out for a more flexible arrangement that promotes interactive and active learning.
Read on to learn more about collaborative learning spaces, their benefits, and what you need to create them.
What are collaborative learning spaces?
Collaborative learning spaces are spaces designed to encourage collaboration and engagement. The key feature of this arrangement is that individuals can move around easily, smoothly transitioning from independent work to group work and vice versa.
How are collaborative learning spaces beneficial?
Collaborative classrooms elevate student learning and teaching techniques, promoting active engagement, peer interaction, and a dynamic learning environment. Some of the key benefits include:
1. Encouraging learning
Many students prefer participatory and experiential learning and perform better when interacting and communicating with their peers openly. Additionally, according to the social learning theory, many individuals learn best by observing and interacting with others.
Collaborative learning spaces thus transform the classroom into a conducive learning environment where students can learn from each other through observation and group discussions. Through these interactions, students are exposed to different ideas, perspectives, and thoughts, encouraging them to think more deeply and critically about a concept.
2. Learning soft skills
On top of fostering collaboration and proactivity, collaborative learning spaces encourage students to pick up crucial soft skills like patience, leadership skills, and the ability to keep an open mind. The emphasis on effective communication makes these classrooms immensely helpful for students’ holistic development.
3. Increasing student motivation
Learning becomes a two-way interaction when students can innovate, share, compare, and debate perspectives and ideas. Unlike traditional lectures, where the teacher speaks and the student listens, collaborative learning spaces encourage students to take ownership of their learning.
Because students are given this responsibility, they are more likely to feel valued and respected. Knowing they are heard increases their motivation to participate and excel.
What do you need to create a conducive collaborative learning space?
The right furniture can transform the learning experience. Two key furnishing choices necessary for creating a collaborative learning environment are flexible seating and moveable furniture.
1. Flexible seating
Flexible seating allows students to choose how and where they sit. Therefore, all chairs and tables should be height-adjustable, ensuring students can move around freely and interact with various peers and perspectives without worrying about unsuitable furniture.
Moreover, allowing students to select their seating will enable them to understand what seating solution works best for them. Some students may be more comfortable moving around, while others prefer sitting on the floor. Hence, collaborative classrooms should have versatile seating options.
2. Moveable furniture
Choosing moveable furniture makes collaboration much easier. By keeping things mobile, students can easily reconfigure classroom furniture that best suits their tasks, whether independent work or group projects.
Therefore, it is recommended to pick out stackable furniture and chairs with castors.
Collaborative classrooms are on the rise, and for a good reason: they encourage students to take ownership of their own learning and engage in class work more effectively. It is hence crucial to pick out the right furniture for these spaces.
Eng Hin Construction offers stackable chairs, height-adjustable training chairs and desks, and chairs with castors. We also offer custom furniture, including canteen tables and chairs and science lab chairs. If you’re interested, please get in touch with us or visit our furniture warehouse in Toa Payoh.