Experiments with Learning Clubs
Hyperlink is built to support the sort of courses we want to see more of — small cohorts of learners, guided by a curriculum and facilitator, exploring a specific topic together.
Now we’re trying a slightly different format for group learning: Clubs.
Our mission is to support a broad spectrum of powerful learning experiences. With Clubs we want to create spaces for a type of experience that’s not quite so structured, and leans more to the peer-to-peer end of the spectrum.
Here’s more about what we have in mind, followed by examples of learning-focused Clubs we think could work well for this format.
What Do We Mean by “Club”?
- Small group: a cohort actively exploring a specific topic, project, or question
- Facilitated: someone organizes and leads; not purely P2P
- Serialized: more than a single meeting
- Predictable commitment: fixed length, regular schedule
- Loose structure: don’t need a curriculum; more emergent and participant-driven
- One-time: can run once, rather than in multiple cohorts; doesn’t require long-term maintenance
- More casual goal: less concern with specific objectives or legible artifacts
Clubs are intended to support focused series’ of communal learning events — a way to make and learn interesting things together, while providing a flexible, sustainable model for such groups to succeed.
Here are some ideas for Clubs we think could be amazing on Hyperlink:
The book club: a classic type of small group learning club! How can we make them a bit more structured and rigorous?
- Serious introduction to a field: diving into a new area together — say, library and information science, or history and theory of pedagogy, or deep ecology. Participants might choose a few books to read together, or go through an anthology or textbook.
- Big challenging books: some books are tough to tackle on your own, and/or simply much more rewarding when read with a group. Books like GEB, SICP, APL (or others without iconic acronyms!)
- Silent reading club: time and space to read, together — a kind of virtual reading retreat with friends, whether or not you’re all reading the same books
- Journal or paper clubs: digging into papers or essays on a particular topic
- Book show and tells: for example, an antilibrary show and tell, where each participant talks about a few of their top unread books
Working groups for artists, writers, and other creators, focused on exchanging useful feedback and helping each other make great work.
- Art critique groups: for example a drawing club, where artists meet together over a series of sessions to draw together and exchange feedback
- Writing groups: time for writing and exchanging feedback with a peer group of other writers
- Focused work groups: people getting together regularly to work on their projects, e.g. everyone launching their own newsletter, or a Kickstarter campaign, together
Communities of Practice
Peers with similar interests, work, or hobbies, convening to explore it together.
- Language learning: people learning the same language, or each other’s native languages, doing conversational practice together
- Peer professional development: people in similar roles (e.g. UX designers, developers, or PMs) but at different companies, learning from each other
- Indie mastermind: independent creators or consultants in the same niche, hacking on projects together and/or exchanging ideas, feedback, and accountability
- Generative learning events: bringing together people in diverse fields to collaboratively explore something together…perhaps a series or “season” of related events
- Distributed micro-conference (or unconference): a series of events where participants collectively get a deep introduction to a body of thought or particular influential thinkers
- Research group: working group for a particular research project (art, science, culture, you name it)
- Puzzle solving club: solving a series of puzzles together, a la the MIT Mystery Hunt
- Movie watching club: participants could watch the entire filmography of an influential director, or dive deep on the cinema of a certain country, genre, or other canon
- Music listening club: listen to and analyze classic albums together, from a particular artist or genre
- Fandoms: write fan-fiction, discuss obscure theories, explore the canon(and fanon)
Propose a Club on Hyperlink!
If you’re interested in running a Club, we’d love to hear what you have in mind! Please fill out this form with a few quick questions:
We’ll be announcing an initial lineup of Clubs on Monday, October 5th. To be part of that launch announcement, please submit your idea by Wednesday, September 30.
(After is fine if you want to try a club later on, we’ll likely do rolling launches after this initial batch.)
Rough ideas welcome; we’re happy to chat more about the details. Look forward to hearing from you!
—Brendan, Jared, & Celine
(The Hyperlink Team)