Having a community, a group or people of your own is crucial in today’s time. Not just because we don’t want to feel alone, but because communities provide us information and knowledge which we may not get to know on our own. One such community that helps the students and learner is the “learning community”
Learning communities are the communities that are made on the internet or offline, to help students in meeting their various learning needs. Members of these communities are the students from the same or different schools or colleges and the teachers who teach online or in institutions. All the members of such communities have similar interests, and educational and career goals and they get associated with learning communities to help each other and learn from each other.
These learning communities can of any time as per the suitability and needs of members of the learning community. And as, today, the internet and technology are involved greatly more categories of learning communities are getting formed. Let’s know the types of learning communities.
Offline Learning Communities: As its name suggests, offline learning communities are offline functioning communities. They are formulated through networking and meeting like-minded people, in person. These learning communities are usually found in schools and colleges where the students of the same institutions form a community, where they help each other to learn new skills and knowledge. For example, a science club formulated by the science students, in this community all the science students of all disciplines can become members. Like, students of biology, biotechnology, chemistry, and technology. Engineering etc.
Such communities organise seminars, group discussions, debates, events and fairs in person, where every member can come and participate in any activities.
Benefits of Offline Learning Communities:
- In-person engagement and interaction with members of the community.
- Members get to gain knowledge and skills on-site.
- Various events are organised, which often present career opportunities like internships and jobs for members.
Online Learning Communities: Online learning communities are the online communities present on the internet, whose members are students and teachers from all around the globe. These are wide-reach communities and are the fully-remote functioning communities. The biggest advantage of online learning communities is that they provide a wide variety of knowledge, skills, cultural diversity and opportunities to their members. The online learning community meets the learning needs of its members by providing speedy information and resources. For example, the members of the communities keep sharing learning resources like videos, e-books, newsletters, and information about job or internship opportunities from time to time. And anyone can take advantage of these resources. The seminars, debates and discussions in online learning communities are livelier and more interesting, as the people are from different global cultures and backgrounds. Thus providing various perspectives on one topic.
Benefits of Online Learning Communities:
- Much wider reach and bigger community than the offline community.
- Availability of learning resources (e-books, PDFs, videos etc.) anytime.
- Global webinars are conducted, providing wider opportunities.
Hybrid Learning Communities: These are the communities that function online as well as offline. The members of hybrid learning communities are from the same college or school and also from all around the world. Hybrid communities have features of both offline as well as online learning communities, for example, offline communities organism workshops, seminars debates which are conducted offline and also get broadcasted online on the group. And like the online learning communities, resources and suggestions, like sharing notes digitally, suggesting a good education app or online courses to the members etc are also done.
Benefits of Hybrid Learning Communities:
- Students and learners can participate in events offline as well as online.
- The learning needs of all learners are fulfilled through sharing resources in groups.
Collaborative Learning Groups: These groups are mainly focused on providing collaborative opportunities to their members offline & online, where they can learn by doing. The members of such groups are given full freedom to collaborate or present their experiments, research works, thesis, articles or blogs on any related topics and subjects. The biggest example of an online collaborative learning group is Wikipedia where anyone can go and edit, write and present any information related to a topic.