Friday, August 01, 2008

More on learning communities

A learning community can be formed either formally, or informally. Formal learning communities may have a specific focus, direction, objectives and goals. There is some finite or discrete answer to a problem that the members seek. The members may find "the answer" or may only find "an answer" to their focus. Does this mean the community has failed? Have they grown to understand things from different or differing perspectives? Do they now approach things in a more reflective, circumspect manner? If these questions are asked and answered, and the answer is in the affirmative, then the community has grown as a COMMUNITY. They have achieved something ... they are a community of scholars, of learners.

Informal learning communities are more difficult, I believe, to understand (in comparison to formal learning communities). If a community can be made up of a small number of members, and they are brought about by common interests, shared vision, shared goals, shared teaching philosophies, then a community can be formed. Informal communities can focus on immediate, or perceived immediate, issues and concerns. These groups are short-term, normally, and the roles of members may shift, evolve, and reform as time goes on. Is an informal community less impactful than a formal community? If they can communicate, coordinate, and collaborate to help each other, then they have been succcessful

1 comment:

Salma said...

I have recently joined a learning community at a site called www.questler.com. they say they are an informal learning network.

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