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:
UPDATE: We'll be announcing an initial lineup of Clubs in mid-October. To be part of that launch announcement, please submit your idea by Sunday, October 11.
(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!