To build a professional learning community, you need to first define what it means to the members of the community. Each member has to feel that s/he is part of the decision-making and design of the community so that person has ownership in its direction. Here’s an introductory activity to do online or face-to-face:
Share a positive learning experience.
- Start a reflection blog or discussion with others in your community. We do this in My eCoach® Online by having each team member name her/his blog [your name]'s Blog and give access to the others on the team.
- Each member can start a first post as Memorable Learning Experiences or the leader can post a topic in the team discussion board.
- Encourage team members to “Answer the following questions in this post!”:
- Brainstorm either face-to-face using Inspiration or online using the My eCoach planning tool to compile and group attributes of a learning community.
- Was there a person, learning experience, or participation in a learning community (community group, class you were in, church group, etc.) that made a difference in your life? How?
- What were the attributes that made this experience so positive for you: characteristics of any person involved, activities you participated in, guidelines, discussions, etc.?
The facilitator (team leader or eCoach) can then compile the attributes as goals for their learning community, allowing for more input to add, update, or change any of the attributes as members experience and learn from being part of the learning community. These can be the goals and shared vision for your professional learning community.
Next Tip: Facilitation Skills