09 Jan Champion learners – your community of practice MVPs
When talking about creating and maintaining successful digital learning communities, we often refer to what we call Champion Learners.
Identifying these contributing super-users can really help to boost organic, engaging content that encourages continued use of your online community area – and with that, improved overall use of your learning platform.
But who are these individuals and why are they so valuable?
It’s difficult to predict uptake when you launch a social learning space; perhaps one department immediately begin sharing interesting links, some use it for making out-of-work plans, and others are hesitant to join in at all. We always encourage a content plan from the team supporting your community of practice, particularly to begin with, and emphasise the importance of setting an example by sparking and engaging in valuable discussions.
Natural content is key
Whilst admin-backed activity is a great foundation, the true take-off point for your community is user-led content. It can be hard to avoid appearing artificial in your attempts to get people talking, and learners will always respond better to authentic, genuine posts from their peers.
It validates their involvement, and sets a model of acceptable and useful behaviour making it more natural and habitual – a simple, integrated part of everyday working life.
You may find that certain learners are more active than most. If you notice regular, quality posts with high engagement from a handful of users, these could be your Champion Learners.
Seek out your Champions
Reward these individuals with Moderator or Curator roles, or formalise their role as a community advocate – perhaps challenging them to a quota of posts every week, or to use the community area to share something that they would have previously distributed by other means.
Every new learning community, and every new Champion, becomes an opportunity to re-shape learning habits, which gradually absorb into the wider workforce and change behaviour throughout the organisation. Spot your potential Champions early, watch what they do, listen to their feedback and use it to iterate ongoing improvement.