Learning Group Facilitation Guide

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Learning groups can enrich a self-paced course experience, creating opportunities for idea sharing, community building, and accountability as participants progress through course material together. This learning group facilitation guide provides a framework for organizing, structuring, and leading a group of learners through self-paced courses on any topic.

Why Learn Together?

“By convening a group of learners who are interested in a similar topic, you’ve got the basis for an open, collaborative learning environment that has the potential to be the support system many learners need. Peer learning can create a rich learning environment in which everyone simultaneously teaches and learns, acts and observes, speaks and listens” (P2PU Learning Circles Facilitator Handbook, www.p2pu.org).

Learning groups are lightly facilitated study groups for people to learn together. They provide a collaborative environment that has the potential to increase motivation as the group sets attainable goals together and connects their learning to practical application. Learners in a group share ideas and insights, answer each other’s questions, and learn from new perspectives and solutions. They form bonds as a community and reflect together on progress, which boosts confidence.

Introduction to Learning Groups

To learn more about the benefits of learning in a group, watch this short video.

What is a Learning Group Facilitator?

A learning group facilitator’s primary role is to convene and coordinate the group and to guide discussions. They are not teachers and are not expected to be subject matter experts with “correct” answers on the topics. A facilitator helps to cultivate an environment in which learning and sharing among participants leads to desired outcomes. The facilitator can participate in a group as a co-learner or guide a group at the administrative level of a training coordinator or supervisor.

This guide was first developed for the Supercharged Storytimes project, funded by OCLC and with a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, RE-95-17-0085-17.

Use and Adapt the Guide

Anyone may use and adapt this guide for free under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) licensing. Please credit WebJunction/OCLC and provide a link to the source; in addition,  adaptations should be shared under the same license agreement.

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