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Celebrating World Bee Day: eLearning Classes

L&D lessons learned from bees

While there are many things our Apis allies can teach us (i.e., “busy as a bee” or “bee species”), this article is intended to remind us of their true spirit of collaboration and community building. It seems like the humble bee has a solution for everything. When their hives are overpopulated, they send a swarm of scouts ahead to colonize a new one. If they feel threatened, they will only use their spikes as a last resort. But there are also a thing or two they can teach e-learning professionals how to cultivate a supportive culture that honors the individual and the whole. To celebrate World Bee Day, let’s look at 5 rules for collaborative learning inspired by these productive pollinators.

5 tips for collaborative learning to get your L&D strategy going

1. Managers give the example

As well as populating the beehive, the queen bee is responsible for overseeing operations and making sure everything goes according to plan. Collaborative learning requires leadership for the same reason. Executives may not populate the colony in a technical sense, but they will find the right team members who also fit into the existing community for the task. In addition, managers need to promote shared learning opportunities and encourage employees to share ideas and feedback.

2. Open communication is key

Believe it or not, bees have been known to play their groove. It’s called a wobble dance and includes enthusiastic figure-8 movements. Your learners would likely suffer from motion sickness if you used the same tactic. However, the bees show us that communication is essential throughout the animal kingdom. In collaborative learning, it is important to set communication guidelines and expectations. Ideally, your strategy should be based on full L&D transparency. Employees should feel they are central to your culture rather than just sitting on the sidelines of L&D.

3. Everyone plays their part

While the queen might be higher in the beehive hierarchy, every bee has a purpose. Each member of the crush knows their role and responsibilities. Really effective collaborative learning initiatives should follow. While many organizations already understand the importance of role assignment in everyday tasks, employees also need to understand how they fit into the L&D strategy. For example, should you take on the role of a peer trainer or mentor? How should they participate in the online training program? Do they need to bring content to your library to share their expertise?

Bee the change! Learn how to create more collaborative learning experiences for your team that will make a meaningful impact.

4. Promote adaptability

Bees can quickly recognize changes in the environment and adapt to their environment. In collaborative learning environments, your employees need to be able to handle the tides of change and be flexible about training opportunities. Likewise, your L&D and HR teams should adapt their strategies to new gaps and challenges. For example, regularly re-evaluate your goals and specifications and then adapt the collaborative learning program to the requirements. First and foremost, you need to nurture your online learners’ adaptability so that they avoid stagnation. The key to long-term growth is a combination of self-reflection, evaluation and continuous feedback.

5. Knowledge sharing should be a reward in its own right

If you really think about it, bees do a thankless job. They pollinate and provide us with the nectar of the gods (AKA honey) without knowing that this will benefit humanity or other species. This example teaches us that sharing knowledge and helping peers reach their full potential should be enough to motivate online learners. Gamification badges and a virtual applause may give them a kick-start, but sharing their expertise should be their own reward. In fact, this is the foundation of a successful collaborative learning program where employees openly share their thoughts, ideas, and opinions even when there is no other incentive.


It is no coincidence that the official mascot of the eLearning industry is a bee that we have affectionately called “Melissa”. She always reminds us that collaboration, communication and community are not just company values, they are the cornerstones of learning and development. We all need to be able to empathize with our peers and take an altruistic approach to knowledge sharing rather than expecting something in return. Feel free to share your findings or experiences that promote a collaborative learning culture in your company. bee Part of the community!


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