Collective learning

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Collective learning can refer to different concepts:

  • It is sometimes used as a global term for everything that is cooperative, collaborative, etc.
  • It can refer to pedagogical designs that feature collective intelligence, i.e. some sorts of sharing activities like it often happens in project-oriented learning designs where teams work on their own project but sometimes must engage in exchange activities.
  • It can refer to situations where a collective (i.e. several individuals) go through a same transformation.

Collective learning types

de Laat and Simons typology of "Individual and collective learning processes and outcomes":

Individual Collective
Processes Individual Individual learning Individual learning processes with collective outcomes
Collective Learning in social interaction Collective learning

de Laat and Simons typology of different collective learning types:

Implicit Explicit
Individual outcomes Networking Learning team
Collective organisational outcomes Working team Community of practise
Collective professional outcomes Working team Community of learners


  • de Laat, Maarten and Robert-Jan Simons, Collective learning: Theoretical perspectives and ways to suppport networked learning, Vocational Training, 27. PDF
  • De Laat, M., Lally, V., Lipponen, L. and Simons, R.-J. (2007) ‘Online teaching in networked learning communities’, Instructional Science, 35, 257-286