An Automatic Group Formation Method to Foster Innovation in Collaborative Learning at Workplace

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Deller James Ferreira
Samuel Sabino Caetano
Celso Gonçalves Camilo Junior


Despite group formation in learning environments is commonly and successfully approached, there is a gap in the research literature with respect to its application in corporative learning. Regarding that creativity is as an important factor to increase innovation in companies, in the present research, we propose a group formation method, considering preferred roles and functional diversity, aiming to improve creativity in collaborative learning at workplace. We employed Tabu Search algorithm to automatically form groups based on Nonaka's knowledge creation theory and preferred roles from Belbin’s model. We performed a case study to compare the quality of socio-cognitive interactions during collaborative learning in groups formed by the proposed method and randomly formed groups. The results show that groups formed by preferred roles and functional diversity are more creative and present enhanced fluency and more elaborated products in comparison to randomly formed groups.


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Ferreira, D. J., Caetano, S. S., & Junior, C. G. C. (2017). An Automatic Group Formation Method to Foster Innovation in Collaborative Learning at Workplace. International Journal of Innovation Education and Research, 5(4), 28-43. Retrieved from


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