Developing engaging learning communities

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How to get people engaged in your community! Put together for a webinar in partnership with Feverbee.


  • 1. Developing engaging learning communities Dave Briggs
  • 2. Bringing creativity and technology together for social and economic benefit.
  • 3. Katie Smith @k8iesmith Dave Briggs @davebriggs
  • 4. Some ideas on engaging people with learning/knowledge/collaborative/ social business/whatever communities
  • 5. Put the user first The organisation has its needs, the users their own - and they might well clash. Don't make the mistake of putting the organisation's needs front and centre. That won't inspire anyone to use it. Instead, design tools and process around the users needs and figure out a way for the organisation to achieve its goals.
  • 6. Make it work on any device If people want to be able to use some software to engage in the community on their own iPad, at home, at the weekend, then make sure they can do it. Make sure your system works on all the popular devices and don't restrict access.
  • 7. Engage Smarter, Not Harder People are unlikely to respond cheerfully when you tell them they need to start sharing knowledge or collaborating. Not another chore! Instead, present the community as a better way of getting stuff done, that will relieve the burden, not add to it.
  • 8. It takes time There are no quick fixes when it comes to organisational culture. If you want to see your new technology having a major impact within six months, prepare to be disappointed. Instead, relax a bit. Let people find their feet. Let them discover what they can do and how it will help them. Measure progress, sure, but don't panic when short term results don't materialise.
  • 9. Let people engage differently Different people will use different tools in different ways. It might depend on their role, or on their personality. You can't expect uniformity in usage. Keep things flexible, and don't demand people fit a universal process.
  • 10. Let users own their tools If people in an organisation see a new platform as being imposed on them from above, it will fail. Instead, the community must own the community. Get the enthusiasts to help make decisions and manage the processes. It will make your decisions better and your system more popular.
  • 11. Fewer rules are better rules If you create rules, people look for ways to get around them. They see bad behaviour as getting one over the rule-makers. In many ways rules legitimise the activity they seek to prevent. So don't have rules. Assume competence and politeness as a standard. If people don't meet the standard, then deal with it.
  • 12. Start small and grow organically Big launches rarely work. "Quick, everyone! Look at our new website!" As it's new, there's not much there. Everyone is disappointed and many never return. Instead, don't try to get too many users too quickly. Allow the amount of activity to be relative to the membership size.
  • 13. New tools need new skills Does your organisation have the skills in-house to make your community a success? Do you have a community manager? A social reporter? An online curator? An analytics expert? None of these things are rocket science, but you can't assume anyone can do them without support.
  • 14. This is not a technology thing Please don't make rolling out a community within your organisation an IT project. It's not an IT project. It's about people, and culture, and working methods. It belongs with people used to working with learning, organisational development and that sort of thing.
  • 15. Combine this with the other great Feverbee advice and youre away!
  • 16. Thanks for listening! Any questions?


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