What is collaborative learning and “turning and learning” seating?
Collaborative learning is a relatively new phenomenon whereby students are proactive with their peers or fellow students in the learning process. Rather than the more traditional teacher-student learning approach, it involves students working together on activities or learning tasks in a small group rather than as an entire class. Students in the group often work on either separate or shared group tasks that contribute to the required overall outcome.
In any learning environment, seating is perhaps one of the most – if not the most – important factors. If students, such as students in high schools, colleges and universities, or trainees haven’t the correct seating, they won’t be at their optimum for concentration and learning. Similarly, if they need to collaborate but need to constantly rearrange and move from their seating, they lose concentration and won’t learn.
In order to facilitate collaborative learning, traditional classes or lecture theatres have up to now needed to suspend activities in order to rearrange the seating. However, the Titan Turning and Learning system from Leadcom has been specially designed to allow users to either traditionally learn from their lecturer or teacher at the front of the class, or swivel around to participate in peer group activities. This is all achieved by students from the comfort of their seat and without disrupting others by having to suspend activities to reconfigure the seating arrangements.
We are all used to traditional seating in learning environments, with each student in their own space, with or without a small arm-rest table to accommodate their writing pad or laptop/tablet. Collaborative seating enables students to sit together, to both contribute to, and share their learning.
So, what exactly are the benefits of collaborative learning?
Collaborative learning has emerged hand-in-hand with advancing technologies. There are several benefits that have been identified:
- Social skills are further developed among students through the encouragement of working together
- Motivation increases or is gained among students when learning together
- Trust develops as students work together towards a common beneficial goal
- Transference of knowledge and skills between peers is often seen as valuable as that gained from the teacher
- Confidence building is enabled though the expression of ideas in a smaller group environment
- Collaboration is recognised as one of the six key skills workers of the future will need (the other five being communication; professionalism; self-management and initiative; critical and creative thinking; global fluency and perspective)
So how does “Turning and Learning” seating help with collaborative learning?
The traditional teaching method where students sit and listen is still thought to be the best method for attentiveness and formal learning. It certainly remains a very important part of imparting knowledge to others. However, recent and ongoing research seems to suggest that interaction – or collaboration – can help improve students’ attention and retention, because as it is the students who in essence take the lead, so their learning focus improves naturally.
Where the learning environment is more active, utilising seating such as Leadcom’s Titan Turning and Learning, they now have the ability to change their seating environment to match the job in hand without disturbing others. In the same vein, should there be a need to revert back to listening to the teacher, this can be done effortlessly, again, without disturbing others or having to stop lessons to rearrange the room’s furniture configuration.
In any learning environment, a dedicated space containing Turning and Learning seating helps drive efficiency. It’s not just only because of the versatility of the seating, but also because students and other students recognise it’s a bespoke environment for teams to come together to collaborate, brainstorm and innovate. Also, each piece of collaborative furniture can be installed in complete harmony with existing furniture.
Turning and Learning seating in practice
The highly flexible Titan Turning and Learning seating range is both suitable and extremely practical for many and varied environments:
- Schools, colleges, universities, higher education establishments and training companies where groups of people are taught
- Seating for auditoriums, lecture theatres, training rooms, IT suites and libraries Offices and commercial spaces that need the flexibility not afforded by static seating
- Support learning spaces or areas where physical accommodation is at a premium and, for example, breakout rooms for collaborative project work may not be available
- Teachers, lecturers or session leaders can still walk among the students should they need to provide assistance
- Leadcom’s Titan Turning and Learning seating also responds to the differing need students and can be easily configured for different classroom, lecture or learning space requirements.
Why choose Leadcom’s Titan LS-420 Turning and Learning seating?
The strength of Leadcom’s Titan Turning and Learning range lies in its practicality, versatility and long-lasting durability – not to mention its comfort. Especially suited to, and designed with educational environments in mind, Titan can be used in pairs, in straight or curved rows, on steps or on a flat floor.
In operation, it provides excellent space for up to four students. The swivel seats rotate 360o and can move forward and backward on their pivoting aluminium arm. It is here that the Titan system comes into its own for collaborative learning, providing for co-working between rows and removing the restrictions associated with traditional, static lecture theatre seating.
All seating offers users superior comfort, having an ergonomically designed seat back with a tough, yet extremely comfortable seat cushion to encourage correct posture. The chairs automatically retract when the learner has left their seats, providing for easy cleaning and maintenance as well as for keeping the aisles clear.
The front panels are offered with either a contemporary perforated steel finish or in a more traditional MDF wooden veneer. Power sockets can also be fitted to meet the demands of the IT generation and for digitally-enabled group work.
Your next steps to install Leadcom’s Titan Turning and Learning seating
With many years’ experience in the seating industry, Leadcom will be more than pleased to take your brief and work with you from concept through to full installation. We can share with you our knowledge and experience with this new collaborative teaching style that is now establishing itself in learning environments throughout the world.
Our collaborative Turning and Learning seating system is fully-adaptable, with configurations to suit virtually any existing teaching space, whether large or small.
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