Design activities and processes to support the community’s purpose

It is through the sharing information and experiences that members learn from each other, and have an opportunity to develop themselves personally and professionally.

The activities of the community need to create a predictable rhythm that sets an expectation around how and when to participate in the community. An integrated, thoughtful combination of face-to-face meetings, live online events, and collaboration over time creates a ‘sense of place’ in the minds of community members.

Sample questions to explore when designing activities:

  • Learning: What are the learning goals of the community, and how can collaborative learning be supported?
  • Activities: What kinds of activities will generate energy and support the emergence of community presence?
  • Rhythm: What will the community’s rhythm be?
  • Communication: How will members communicate on an ongoing basis to accomplish the community’s primary purpose?
  • Interactions: What kinds of interactions (with each other and with the content of the community) will generate energy and engagement?
  • Collaboration: How will community members collaborate with each other to achieve shared goals?
  • Knowledge sharing: What are the external resources (people, publications, reports, etc.) that will support the community during its initial development? How will members share these resources and gain access to them?

Develop a proposed schedule for the community (see example below).

Link to other learning opportunities

Identify any face-to-face meeting opportunities for community members and define how these will be incorporated into the community experience.

For example, during an Alberta Regional Professional Learning Consortia’s one-day presentation by Eric Carter on the power of peer mentoring to support students with disabilities, participants attending the session were invited to consider joining a community of practice for the following school year. The wrap-up sessions of this community of practice was also scheduled to coincide with Dr. Carter’s return visit to the province the next year.

Encourage participants to share information about upcoming professional learning opportunities in their regions that might support the learning of the community.

Next… Develop a legacy plan