Overview of Learning Communities

A learning community is a place where learning can be grouped around a particular topic or area of interest and shared or assigned to a distinct set of people known as the community members. The purpose of a community can range from collaborative communities created by employees or managers, to a more formal learning community with assignments.

A few examples of using the community are:

  • A department head can create a community for the whole organization to help members acquire knowledge and focus on specific areas.

  • A learning specialist can create a learning program and assign the learning item to members with a specific role and job.

  • Domain experts can make the community a central place to distribute the latest learning items and participate in discussions related to their areas of expertise.

  • Team leaders can enable the team to publish their insights and exchange interesting work-related articles, videos, and tutorials in a community.

As a community owner, you can establish your own brand and identity. You can give frequent updates or schedule periodic updates in your community. You can enable members to create and publish learning items. This is a more purposeful way to gather and share insights with each other. Curate your learning items and engage your community members. A community catalog can have any kind of learning items such as, offering, course, specialization, video, or a tutorial.

Learning communities contain a catalog of learning items, community members, and optionally you can create assignments.

Communities are mainly classified into two categories:

  • Catalog Communities: Created and managed by learning administrators

  • Self-Service Communities: created and managed by employees or managers. You can configure which employees, if any, have the ability to create self-service communities and which ones can leverage community assignments.

Catalog Communities

As a learning administrator, you can create and manage catalog communities in the Administrator work area from the Learning Catalog page Communities tab if you are granted the privileges. The catalog communities for which you have access will appear here. Self-service communities, even those you may be a member or a manager, will not appear here.

Self-Service Communities

Learners and managers have the ability to create and manage their own learning communities. However, even if they don't have a community to manage, they can still participate in learning communities, created by other people, as members or managers.

Community Membership

Communities have three access levels controlling how the user can engage with the community:

  • Community Manager: Allows you to manage the community catalog and membership. Additionally, distinct privileges control the ability to manage required members.

  • Voluntary Member: Allows you to access the community's learning catalog and discussion forum.

  • Required Member: Allows you to access the community's learning catalog and discussion forum. Additionally you receive assignments created within the community.

Community Catalog

The community catalog is where community managers can add learning items for the easy access of their community members. You can add any type of learning item to the catalog, including courses, specializations, videos, and tutorials. Additionally, as a manager of a community, you can publish self-service videos and tutorials on behalf of the community. You can add these items as though they were published by the community and not as an individual. In the community settings, community managers can enable the option for nonmanagers to contribute to the community catalog. (Voluntary members and Required members can search for and add learning items into the community catalog.)

Community Assignments

Community managers can create and manage required learning assignments on behalf of the community. When such assignments are created, only the required members of the community receive them. The community manager requires a distinct privilege to use this feature of the community, but when granted, it gives them the authority on the required members of that community regardless who added them. You can manage assignments within the community itself. If you are a learning administrator, you can manage the assignments s in the Administrator work area similar to all other assignments. The required members can access their assignments directly from within the community itself, and also from their My Learning and Current Learning pages similar to all other assignments. Lastly, when the community creates community assignments, you can configure them in such a way that only the current required members receive them or you can include future required members, who are added to the community automatically.