“We’ll learn this together.” That’s what I say to you as the facilitator of a new opportunity we are offering at the library – learning circles.
Learning circles are study groups for people who want to take a free online course with a peer group to help them along the way. Think of it like a book discussion group, only instead of meeting to share the experience of reading a book, we’ll be meeting to share the experience of taking a course together.
Learning circles are scheduled for two hours. Here’s how we typically spend that time:
- 10-15 minutes sharing what we’ve worked on and what we learned during the past week. If we’re just getting started we’ll spend some time getting to know each other and on goal setting.
- 50-65 minutes on coursework. This will be everyone’s chance to go through most or all of that week’s online lesson together. The lessons generally consist of lectures, slides and some interactive activities, which we will allow time for during the meeting. If we don’t get through the entire lesson together, you can log on to the course site anytime during the week and complete your work.
- 15-30 minutes on group activities, such as giving each other feedback on our course work, and discussing what we liked and didn’t like about that week’s session.
These groups don’t have a teacher. We are all there to learn together and help each other along the way. Our partner, Peer 2 Peer University, says, “Underlying all our work is the understanding that learning is a social activity. We believe that everybody is an expert in something, that sharing and connecting is how we learn best, and that feedback is necessary in order to improve.”
Upcoming learning circles
We are starting by offering some learning circles that are focused on helping people gain skills for the workplace. Our first learning circle we are going through a course on resume, networking and interviewing skills. That is offered on Wednesday evenings in February and March. Our next learning circle will focus on critical thinking and problem-solving. This course will cover skills like assessing the environment, analyzing potential solutions, and how to work through obstacles. This three week course will be offered on Wednesday evenings in April and May.
Learning circle participants can sign up at our registration page. Be sure to sign up for all the weeks that the learning circle is offered – your learning will work best if you are there every week.
If you need to brush up on your computer skills before you’re comfortable tackling an online course, be sure to check out our basic computer skills classes and our online digital learn computer courses.
It would be so nice to meet you at one of our learning circle meetings. As I said “we’ll learn this together!”