Vicky Smith describes her experiences being a member of a Learning Community and the impact that it had.
Learning Community facilitators’ training takes place in two half-day workshops.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT FROM THE WORKSHOPS? What are the aims?
By the end of the first session, you will:
- Get to know other people interested in Learning Communities, and have the opportunity join a network of facilitators for mutual support and practise improvement
- Understand the theory, philosophy, benefits and limitations behind the Learning Community approach
- Know the three steps to set up and run a Learning Community
- Achieve or refine the required facilitation skills
- Be familiar with a suite of tools and techniques for reflection and evaluation
- Appreciate the role of data in the Learning Community
- Know the aims and arrangements for the second session
By the end of the second session, you will have:
- Connected with other participants and shared experiences since last time
- Re-visited the theory, philosophy, benefits and limitations behind Learning Communities
- Heard what happens in a Learning Community meeting and the sorts of topics discussed
- Explored the three steps with a focus on running and refreshing a Learning Community including facilitation skills, dealing with challenges and ensuring an even contribution
- Considered Learning Community reporting, evaluation and reflection tools
WHAT DO I NEED TO PREPARE BEFOREHAND?
- Please review programme aims and bring personal ‘wish’ list to the session
- If you have some experience of being a Learning Community member or facilitator, please make a brief note of any significant moments from your experiences. We work in pairs so it’s not essential if you’d prefer not to or if Learning Communities are new to you
- Bring ideas for any Communities that you might have in mind for future development – this is not essential if you don’t have any specific plans
- Bring some paper and a pen for your own notes
- Let us know if you have any specific access or dietary needs.
WHO ELSE WILL BE THERE?
There are usually 6 to 12 people at each workshop, often from a range of organisational types, sectors and settings. Some will be new to Learning Communities and some will have been participating for some time.
HOW WILL I HELP IMPROVE FUTURE WORKSHOPS?
We seek to make the training brilliant and will need your help to improve it – we ask participants for feedback and comments at every stage. Broadly, we want to know:
- What skills, knowledge and support are needed to set up a Learning Community? To what extent do the workshops, handbook and Facilitators’ Community help achieve them?
- What else is needed?
- What impact does joining the programme have?
WHO DO I CONTACT FOR MORE INFORMATION OR HELP?
@NetworkLouise / @LngCommunities on Twitter
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Learning Communities are where peers come together to co-create a space to talk authentically about their work, about the judgements, mistakes, challenges, successes and uncertainties that practitioners face working in complex systems, where outcomes are uncertain.
The Learning Communities Handbook is a guide to the theory and philosophy behind the approach, and outlines the practical steps to setting up, facilitating and reviewing a Learning Community.
For some people, a read through the handbook will be enough to get a brilliant group off the ground. But if you’d like a deeper dive into the Learning Communities world, drop firstname.lastname@example.org a note for more information about training as a Learning Communities facilitator and joining the growing Learning Communities network.
We’d love to hear from you about how it’s going too.
Keep in touch!
Toby & Lou
Download your very own copy of The Learning Communities Handbook