Learning about Learning Circles (P2PU)

What recommendations do you have for other facilitators who are using "Learning about Learning Circles"? Consider sharing additional resources you found helpful, activities that worked particularly well, and some reflections on who this course is best suited for. For more information, see this course on P2PU’s course page.

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Learning about learning circles is a five module course designed to help people get ready to facilitate a learning circle. Because the course materials were designed with learning circles in mind, you don’t need to spend much time adapting the course to fit the learning circle model.

I facilitated this course as a virtual learning circle last month and it went really well! We had 19 participants who met 2x week for five meetings (Tues, Thurs, Tues, Thurs, Tues).

I prepared an agenda in advance of each meeting using Etherpad. This proved to be a very successful way of organizing the group, and it served a number of roles: a timekeeping schedule, a space for synchronous collaboration/writing, a place to share links, and an archive of notes/discussion. You can see what our final Etherpad looked like here.

If you’d like to use a similar format:


If you plan on facilitating this, you should also read what I wrote on the P2PU blog, as I think it gives a good idea of what each meeting felt like.

You can also access the public learning circle report.

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The course Learning about Learning Circles (P2PU) received a 5 star rating from a facilitator!

Did anything about the learning circle surprise you?
Nope!

Do you have any stories from the learning circle you want to share with the P2PU community?
At the end of the planned five meetings, a sixth topic (virtual meeting logistics) was suggested and most of the group wanted to keep going.

You recorded in your weekly feedback that 12 participant(s) attended the first meeting. Is this correct?
Yes

You recorded in your weekly feedback that 11 participant(s) attended the second meeting. Is this correct?
Yes

About how many people showed up for the last meeting?
10

How well did the online course work as a learning circle?
5/5

Why did you give the course 5 star(s)?
It was designed for an in-person learning circle, but it could probably be tweaked for a virtual environment.

How likely are you to recommend facilitating a learning circle to a friend or colleague?
5

This course received a 3 star rating from a participant!

Is there anything else that you learned or achieved during the learning circle?
new software like Etherpad

Do you feel more confident about what you just learned in Learning about Learning Circles ?
3

How do you intend to apply what you learned?
When I start a learning circle, I can use it for making a group project.

How well did the online course work as a learning circle?
3

Why did you give the course 3 star/stars?
I feel like there are a lot of things I have to know before starting a learning circle.

How likely are you to recommend participating in a learning circle to a friend or colleague?
3

Why?
It seems like it is not easy to run successfully.

course
Learning about Learning Circles

This course received a 4 star rating from a participant!

Is there anything else that you learned or achieved during the learning circle?
Feeling more confident about doing my own

Do you feel more confident about what you just learned in Learning about Learning Circles ?
4

How do you intend to apply what you learned?
Try out developing a few with my team

How well did the online course work as a learning circle?
4

Why did you give the course 4 star/stars?
Good way to learn how it works by doing it.

How likely are you to recommend participating in a learning circle to a friend or colleague?
4

Why?
seems like a great way for some folks to learn

course
Learning about Learning Circles

This course received a 5 star rating from a participant!

Is there anything else that you learned or achieved during the learning circle?
I learned a lot more about learning circles and facilitation

Do you feel more confident about what you just learned in Learning about Learning Circles ?
4

How do you intend to apply what you learned?
I intend to use this in my work place

How well did the online course work as a learning circle?
5

Why did you give the course 5 star/stars?
The facilitators were great

How likely are you to recommend participating in a learning circle to a friend or colleague?
5

Why?
It’s an easy natural way of learning

course
Learning about Learning Circles

This course received a 5 star rating from a participant!

What did you hope to achieve when you joined this learning circle?
Learn more about learning circles and how to be a facilitator

To what extent did you achieve this?
4

Is there anything else that you learned or achieved during the learning circle?
I became part of a community of learners and we will continue to meet. I think that is the best thing ever :slight_smile:

Do you feel more confident about what you just learned in Learning about Learning Circles ?
4

How do you intend to apply what you learned?
Planning and leading learning circles. This was like a little preview. Now I will test out what I know. And come back to my team to review (if I have questions)

How well did the online course work as a learning circle?
5

Why did you give the course 5 star/stars?
Awesome! It was really chill and approachable and I am glad I had this opportunity.

How likely are you to recommend participating in a learning circle to a friend or colleague?
5

Why?
Because it is low pressure and a great way to learn. You don’t have to know everything and this is a great way to learn to stop pretending.

course
Learning about Learning Circles

This course received a 5 star rating from a facilitator!

Is there anything else that you learned or achieved during the learning circle?
This was my first time facilitating and I learned so much! I got over some of the awkwardness of meeting via zoom and creating breakout rooms, etc. But mostly it was great to get a group of like minded learners together during this challenging time.

Do you feel more confident about what you just learned in Learning about Learning Circles ?
5

How do you intend to apply what you learned?
I will start conducting another learning circle in January, and hopefully many more to follow.

How well did the online course work as a learning circle?
5

Why did you give the course 5 star/stars?
This course has a great guide already, it’s only four, very manageable sessions with easy to digest bit of content and time for discussion.

How likely are you to recommend participating in a learning circle to a friend or colleague?
5

Why?
Learning Circles are low and supportive. Learning alone can be hard and well, lonely. Fellow humans (and their pets that are appearing regularly on zoom) make the path easier to trod.

This course received a 5 star rating from a facilitator!

Did anything about the learning circle surprise you?
It was easier than I thought to finalize plans for each week just a few days before each session. I usually like to have everything finalized well before but this adaptive process was freeing.

Do you have any stories from the learning circle you want to share with the P2PU community?
Having ice breakers that were fun, had nothing to do with the LC content, and got participants to know each other better personally was definitely a highlight.

About how many people showed up for the first meeting?
8

About how many people showed up for the second meeting?
7

About how many people showed up for the last meeting?
7

How well did the online course work as a learning circle?
5

Why did you give the course 5 star(s)?
We adapted the P2PU course and also borrowed from the CLP facilitator guide to customize the curriculum for the specific needs of our participants (future library staff facilitators). Both of those resources had fantastic content and activities.

How likely are you to recommend facilitating a learning circle to a friend or colleague?
5

Why?
It’s a great way to connect with the community and provide a space for others to connect.

course
Learning about Learning Circles

This course received a 5 star rating from a participant!

Is there anything else that you learned or achieved during the learning circle?
I received great resources for facilitating my own learning circle.

Do you feel more confident about what you just learned in Learning about Learning Circles ?
5

How do you intend to apply what you learned?
Yes! I hope to run my own learning circle in February.

How well did the online course work as a learning circle?
5

Why did you give the course 5 star/stars?
Because it was a great course and I learned a lot.

How likely are you to recommend participating in a learning circle to a friend or colleague?
5

Why?
Because it was a fun way to learn a new skill and I love the community building aspect of learning circles.

course
Learning about Learning Circles

This course received a 3 star rating from a participant!

Is there anything else that you learned or achieved during the learning circle?
more comfort with a new experience

Do you feel more confident about what you just learned in Learning about Learning Circles ?
3

How do you intend to apply what you learned?
will attend at least two circles as a participant and watch how the facilitator presents/interacts with the group so I can see how the process works from both sides

How well did the online course work as a learning circle?
3

Why did you give the course 3 star/stars?
I felt there was a lot of “these folks know what they are doing, they know about the P2P website, etc” instead of treating the group as newbies to the whole P2P/Learning Circle experience. One participant who had conducted a learning circle said that what I was experiencing was exactly how a learning circle goes which made me feel like it is the blind leading the blind. Lots of feel good commentary and then lets see what we can find out about xyz

How likely are you to recommend participating in a learning circle to a friend or colleague?
3

Why?
until I participate I don’t know if this is the learning experience for me and my personality.

This course received a 4 star rating from a participant!

Is there anything else that you learned or achieved during the learning circle?
There are resources on the P2PU website that I didn’t know about.

Do you feel more confident about what you just learned in Learning about Learning Circles ?
5

How do you intend to apply what you learned?
I will join my peers and form a learning circle to practice my facilitator skills.

How well did the online course work as a learning circle?
4

Why did you give the course 4 star/stars?
I would like a more visual experience. Thanks!

How likely are you to recommend participating in a learning circle to a friend or colleague?
5

Why?
Q was very helpful and kind. She also gave a lot of good tips on how to successfully run a LC.

course
Learning about Learning Circles

This course received a 4 star rating from a participant!

Do you feel more confident about what you just learned in Learning about Learning Circles ?
3

How well did the online course work as a learning circle?
4

Why did you give the course 4 star/stars?
It was fun & informative. It buildt community.

How likely are you to recommend participating in a learning circle to a friend or colleague?
5

Why?
Interesting & low stakes

course
Learning about Learning Circles

This course received a 4 star rating from a participant!

Is there anything else that you learned or achieved during the learning circle?
I learned that it’s okay to let other people take the lead. The facilitator doesn’t have to be the mail engine moving a learning circle forward.

Do you feel more confident about what you just learned in Learning about Learning Circles ?
5

How do you intend to apply what you learned?
If I have the capacity, I would like to use what I learned to facilitate another learning circle. If not, I would like to better support those who are facilitating them.

How well did the online course work as a learning circle?
4

Why did you give the course 4 star/stars?
I’m not sure to what extent we followed the course as designed. I feel like we diverged from it, so I don’t feel I can give it 5 star with confidence.

How likely are you to recommend participating in a learning circle to a friend or colleague?
5

Why?
I think they are great ways to become a member of a library community and learn something too.

course
Learning about Learning Circles

This course received a 4 star rating from a participant!

Is there anything else that you learned or achieved during the learning circle?
Maybe a walk through of the process would have been nice. P2PU isn’t always the easiest site to navigate.

Do you feel more confident about what you just learned in Learning about Learning Circles ?
4

How do you intend to apply what you learned?
Hopefully start a LC in the Spring.

How well did the online course work as a learning circle?
4

Why did you give the course 4 star/stars?
Facilitator was great, but she knew the topic so well it was more like she was teaching. (Not bad, but not exactly like a LC.)

How likely are you to recommend participating in a learning circle to a friend or colleague?
5

Why?
They’re great, and so easy now virtually!

course
Learning about Learning Circles

This course received a 3 star rating from a participant!

What did you hope to achieve when you joined this learning circle?
I hoped to learn all that I needed to know to develop and deliver a Learning Circle on my own within 30 days or less.

To what extent did you achieve this?
4

Is there anything else that you learned or achieved during the learning circle?
Nothing else. The information was made available, I just need to take time on my own to let it all digest and begin building my course circles.

Do you feel more confident about what you just learned in Learning about Learning Circles ?
3

How do you intend to apply what you learned?
Working with community organizations and the patrons that utilize our services to build a sense of learning community.

How well did the online course work as a learning circle?
3

Why did you give the course 3 star/stars?
It was interesting but I just need time to digest the information. I did not walk away ready to go. I still need to read and reflect on what I learned.

How likely are you to recommend participating in a learning circle to a friend or colleague?
5

Why?
A creative way learn something new with the support and accountability of others.

This course received a rating from a participant!

What did you hope to achieve when you joined this learning circle?
Learn how to conduct learning circles and difficult conversations

To what extent did you achieve this?
4

Is there anything else that you learned or achieved during the learning circle?
Experienced a different type of learning that I can now help others experience

Do you feel more confident about what you just learned in Learning about Learning Circles ?
4

How do you intend to apply what you learned?
By cofacilitating my own learning circle

How well did the online course work as a learning circle?
5

Why did you give the course 5 star/stars?
The technology worked well for the (tech-savvy) group.

How likely are you to recommend participating in a learning circle to a friend or colleague?
5

Why?
They are a good way to bring in new programming on various topics that encourages building connections among participants with minimal lifting on the part of the facilitator.

This course received a rating from a participant!

What did you hope to achieve when you joined this learning circle?
To learn about the learning circle format and how to offer it at my library as a “moderator”

To what extent did you achieve this?
3

Is there anything else that you learned or achieved during the learning circle?
I really learned how well learning circles worked with discussions and discussion-based sharing. I don’t know that I felt like it worked well teaching a very specific topic. I am more of a linear learner when it comes to how-to learning.

Do you feel more confident about what you just learned in Learning about Learning Circles ?
2

How do you intend to apply what you learned?
I would like to implement what I learned with the book discussion groups I already lead. I would also like to look at using it with issue-based programs at the library.

How well did the online course work as a learning circle?
1

Why did you give the course 1 star/stars?
In some ways, I felt like I could just read the web content and the videos and get the content being provided. While the “in-class” discussions were great for being examples, I didn’t find them helpful with learning the topic of how to do prep a course, set up a site, run a course, etc.

How likely are you to recommend participating in a learning circle to a friend or colleague?
2

Why?
I feel like I finished the series with a lot of gaps in the knowledge I need to take on the role of a moderator

This course received a rating from a participant!

What did you hope to achieve when you joined this learning circle?
Participate in a training from a co-facilitator perspective

To what extent did you achieve this?
5

Is there anything else that you learned or achieved during the learning circle?
Lots of insights on how to improve our offerings, and I met some great folks from [my state]

Do you feel more confident about what you just learned in Learning about Learning Circles ?
5

How do you intend to apply what you learned?
Facilitating more learning circles

How well did the online course work as a learning circle?
5

Why did you give the course 5 star/stars?
Because the difficult conversations module was awesome

How likely are you to recommend participating in a learning circle to a friend or colleague?
5

Why?
Because it’s fun and I made a friend