P2PU offers a number of services designed to support thriving learning circle communities. Your financial contribution to our organization allows us to keep the learning circle toolkit and community free and open source forever.

You can also support our work by making a tax-exempt donation or purchasing some P2PU gear.

All services are priced on a sliding scale, and we are available to help write these services into grant proposals. Reach out to thepeople@p2pu.org with inquiries.

Learning Circle Program Support

Have you used our free resources to run a learning circle or two in your city? Are your colleagues intrigued and expressing interest in facilitating? Or maybe you can across some challenges and find yourself wanting to learn more?

In the Learning Circles Training Workshop, P2PU will come to your city and conduct a training workshop that will prepare you to select and adapt courses, facilitate learning circles effectively, and handle the logistics and tools needed to manage courses.

The workshop will cover:

  • Intro to MOOCs and Online Learning: Understand these new educational resources
  • Intro to Learning Circles: Make the most of online courses by creating a facilitated study group meeting
  • Facilitator Training: Learn how to host a great learning circle by practicing with your peers and trying out the resources and recipes we’ve developed
  • Course Selection Support: Master the tools you can use to find and choose the right courses for your community
  • Inside Scoop on Learning Circles: Get our tips on how to handle the logistics of organizing a 6-week course (promotion ideas, space and technology requirements, issues to anticipate, and more)

You have been running learning circles for a little while now, or maybe you’ve just found the program and need some support getting things up and running. You’d like use learning circles to reach new learners and new facilitators, but you’re unsure of where to start.

The Community Catalyst Program supports an ongoing relationship with P2PU to grow your learning circle program. Through it, your colleagues will develop skills to reach new audiences, self-assess your progress, and magnify your impact as a center for community learning.

In addition to a training workshop, P2PU will work with you to:

  • Improve Community Engagement and Outreach: Gain expertise in creating relationships, raising awareness with new populations, and gaining visibility
  • Plan Your Course Program: Develop a community consultation practice to identify needs and an organizational curriculum of courses to meet them
  • Assess and Improve Program Effectiveness: Learn frameworks and approaches for monitoring, measuring, and refining your learning circle program
  • Receive Priority Support: Get access to ongoing learning and technology support
  • Connect with the P2PU Team Regularly: Develop an implementation plan with the P2PU team

For organizations that are eager to build up a learning circle program quickly, the Full Learning Circle Deployment option presents an opportunity to work in close close partnership with the P2PU team for a full year. By the end of this engagement, your organization will have a group of experienced facilitators, organizers, and alumni who are ready to sustain the program. Additionally, we’ll work with you to develop relationships with new community organizations, volunteer facilitators communities, and course development organizations that can fill in any gaps you may face.

In addition to what is listed above, the Full Deployment offers:

  • Custom Landing Page: Designed to match any specific branding, hosting, or other needs
  • P2PU Coordinator Training: We will develop a close relationship with whoever you nominate to run the learning circle program at your organization, ensuring that they are capable of running the program when we are gone
  • Customized Approaches to Evaluation, Assessment, and Data Collection: We will help you meet reporting requirements and impact documentation goals with approaches that work for your organization and remain consistent with our learning goals and values
  • Institutional Capacity to Identify and Train New Facilitators: Train master facilitators that can share their knowledge effectively and maintain your program
  • Full Organizational Partnership: For a year, we’ll work with you as colleagues to make sure that learning circles are reaching the goals you have for your organization

For organizations that do not have a designated staff member to coordinate their learning circle program, P2PU can identify and support somebody to provide those services. We can work with you to determine whether you need someone local on a part or full-time basis.

An experienced P2PU program coordinator can support planning and coordination of all learning circle programs and activities, including:

  • Research target audiences for both learners and facilitators
  • Consult with community organizations to identify desirable course topics
  • Help recruit and train facilitators
  • Serve as primary contact between the organization and P2PU
  • Manage communications with facilitators, local communities, and partnership Organizations
  • Provide day-to-day management of the program
  • Contribute to program reflection and reporting goals
  • Prepare recommendations for a program scale up

Supplementary Services

If you already have a website where people find and sign up for programs, we can integrate the learning circle software into your existing web properties. We can also white label our site and provide hosting services, giving you to complete creative control over how people experience learning circles in your community.

Can’t find the right online course for your community? Or maybe you have an idea for a course that you’d like others to run as a learning circle? Then let’s build an open course together! Check out some recent courses we’ve built: Making and Learning (with Pittsburgh Children’s Museum) and Learning to (Re)Use Open Educational Resources (with Open University and Creative Commons).

We can help you with:

  • Technology Design and Selection: Making decisions on how to create and present your course can be difficult - let us share our expertise! We have our town open source tool, called Course in a Box, and we’ve worked with lots of other tools as well.
  • Web Hosting and Support: We can manage the technical workflow for getting your stuff online.
  • Learning Design: We can help craft the flow and design the content of the course to be suited for learning - and learning circles!

We generate a lot of feedback from learners, facilitators, and community organizers, and we are eager to collaborate with researchers who seek to understand how social and peer learning can better support diverse audiences and communities. We’re particularly interested in collaborations that will help us better understand:

  • How learning circles support progress towards other educational/professional opportunities
  • How learning circles serve as a professional development tool for librarians and other facilitator groups
  • The efficacy of learning circles as a model for increasing digital literacy
  • Long-term implications of peer learning communities
  • What major gaps exist in OER for adult learners in various cities we work

Recent collaborations have culminated in an award-winning PhD thesis Massive Courses Meet Local Communities: An Ethnography of Open Education Learning Circles (with Cristiane Damasceno, North Carolina State University) and The Learning Circle Experience: Findings from the P2PU Participant Survey (with Michelle Fellows, University of Washington).

P2PU wants to make its tools available to as many people around the world as possible. If our resources do not already exist in your language, we can offer a template for grant proposals to support the translation of our open-source resources and software. We can work with you to determine whether you will hire the translator directly, or whether we should source someone who can do it.

We are constantly learning about how our tools can improve from our community. We’ve got a long list of new features we’d like to add, and we’re always looking for people to partner with us as we develop them. If there is a feature you think would help your organization to better run your learning circle program, reach out and we can develop it with you.