Scaffolding pockets of social learning: ideas for practical implementation

Engagement over time is valuable in learning, giving us time to reflect, to try things out back in the real world, to draw together our learning. Providing appropriate, flexible and easily accessible social learning spaces around formal learning experiences is one of the easiest and most effective ways of expanding our professional practice.

The point of these spaces is to facilitate discussion and enable learners to play with the learning. Through appropriate challenge and moderation, it’s a way of making the learning more relevant, of making it more immediate.

At a practical level, i find that it’s valuable to choreograph the spaces for social learning much as we would any other parts of the experience. Not choreograph the content of the discussions, after all, this is a semi formal social space and we want spontaneity, but rather to create the spaces and times for the discussion to take place.

In a six week programme around coaching, i have looked at building in three distinct spaces for social learning: one at initiation, aimed at building common definitions and reflecting on current practice, one in the middle to explore new dimensions of the topic and challenge understanding and one at the end to share implementation ideas and bring issues back to the group. Three identical spaces, but each dealing with a new part of the narrative. The moderation needs to shift accordingly, from pulling people in at the start to keeping discussion on track in the middle and then building out a narrative at the end (more on stages of moderation here)

This is a more nuanced approach than simply creating one space and leaving it to run: we are building a syllabus and a structure, a scaffolding for the conversation. Scaffolding the learning in this way is a valuable way of intervening without smothering the social aspects of the learning.

About julianstodd

Author, Artist, Researcher, and Founder of Sea Salt Learning. My work explores the context of the Social Age and the intersection of formal and social systems.
This entry was posted in Community, Exploration, Learning, Learning Design, Moderator, Nuance, Reflection, Scaffolding, Social Learning and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Scaffolding pockets of social learning: ideas for practical implementation

  1. Pingback: Scaffolding pockets of social learning: ideas for practical ... | learning to learn online |

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  6. This is exactly what I am trying to find out how to do!!! I am figuring out this structure of scaffolding the learning experience in those spaces. I keep on learning with your thoughts and experience! Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience!

  7. Reblogged this on Caroline+Kühn and commented:
    Scaffolding the social learning! Learning from Julian Stodd!

  8. Pingback: Reflections On The Learning Architecture | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

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