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Announcing Learning Clubs

By Brendan | 2020-09-25

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"?

Like courses:

  • 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

Unlike courses:

  • 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:

Reading Groups

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

Creator Circles

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)

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!