How to Get Your Learning Community Started These 4 steps make it easy to encourage informal learning with a community of practice. Published on 14 March, 2018 These 4 steps make it easy to encourage informal learning with a community of practice. Learning communities are a great way to encourage informal learning throughout your organisation. By creating an online space for employees to continue discussion and support outside of the classroom, your learning community becomes an integral part of your training strategy. In his webinar with Mimeo, Dan Jones offers 4 simple ways to start your learning community: 1. Set Up a Collaboration Website Have a central location for your members to connect with the community. This could be on your company intranet, like Sharepoint, or you could host your own website using a template from WordPress or SquareSpace. Be sure to include crucial information on the website, including: Mission Upcoming activities Contact info for the community leaders Membership list Blog or discussion forum Content library 2. Claim Social Media Handles Next, make sure your social media-inclined members have a place to take the discussion online. Claim social media handles that are similar to your community name, and consider setting up official hashtags for your followers to use so that you can aggregate conversations. Dan suggests setting up handles on external social media such as Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. If your population is already active on internal systems (or if you are prohibited by company policy from starting public social media handles), you can also make the most of Yammer, Slack, Salesforce Chatter, or whatever system your organisation uses. 3. Set Up a Dedicated Email Address Dan recommends setting up an email address for the community so you have a designated communication channel for questions about the community. Direct any questions to this account, and use it for sending out calendar invites. A bonus for having a dedicated email address: if you recruit others to help manage the community, you can easily add them to this email account. 4. Set Up Online Groups Finally, Dan recommends supplementing your collaboration website with online groups or forums. This allows your community members to engage with each other and share files, pictures, and links for free. By leveraging free tools like Facebook or LinkedIn groups, you can create rich conversation without requiring IT to create a custom forum for your community. An engaged learning community goes a long way towards encouraging a culture of learning at your organisation. These tips focus on getting your community set up. Watch the full webinar for all of Dan’s tips for starting, growing, and managing your community. twitter Tweet facebook Share pinterest Pin Mimeo Marketing Team Mimeo is a global online print provider with a mission to give customers back their time. By combining front and back-end technology with a lean production model, Mimeo is the only company in the industry to guarantee your late-night print order will be produced, shipped, and delivered by 8 am the next morning. For more information, visit mimeo.com and see how Mimeo’s solutions can help you save time today.