You know how universities (and existing frameworks of MOOCs) are increasingly moving toward online “learning community” models?
Features and functions of such spaces typically include: a forum and/or chat channel where students and instructor can interact freely; a space for the educator to post curricular materials; video conference tools for live class meetings; video player frames for displaying pre-recorded educational videos, etc.
Let’s call the above an Online Learning Community Package: a set of utilities, functionalities, features of an online space.
Could Cosmos coordinate its own assets into offering subscription-based “Online Learning Community” packages to its members? Let’s imagine Cosmos packages these things at its disposal into discrete “lanes” that any person can acquire to host a learning community within.
This idea combines established praxis of Cosmos’ own past book clubs, Writers Underground, the “open frame media hub” design of the materials of Transmuting the Trumpocalypse, and other such Cosmos-based activities—but expands them, by packaging a set of resources into a theme or lane that would be managed by an administrator or stewarding team.
More generally even than this MOOC-imitating “online learning community” packaging, any participatory community could avail themselves of a coordinated “lane”—for instance, Duffy’s idea for a community called “Prompting Revolution.” In their space, interactions would orbit around just three patterns, really: generating prompts, processing responses, and dialogue about the prompts/responses.
I imagine these purpose-driven “lanes” might cost extra to package and maintain for the user bases. But it could be of immediate and exponential value, attracting not just individuals but functioning communities to the platform, and yet consistent with/extending the implicit Cosmos cultural norms of being a continuously learning, growing community ourselves.
I would be up for initiating an experiment on this very user story within the next two months. In August or September, my fellow organizers Yessica Holguin and Michelle Sturm (Community Wealth Building) in Denver and I will be convening the first cohort of a “train the trainers” on my urban cooperative development curricula, produced last year under contract by Rocky Mountain Farmers Union CDC. The intention is to bring together community organizers and educators from diverse and underserved communities throughout Metro Denver to equip and empower them with the capacity to provide (paid) co-ops education and training throughout their communities. The structure of the train the trainers program is rooted in anti-oppression pedagogy, which means ongoing active participation, critical thinking and dialogue on the part of all participants is a critical factor. Already Yessica and I are planning social and discussion-based learning events throughout the following year that would allow people to remain connected & active in their learning, teaching and co-op organizing efforts. I believe the cohort would also benefit from an online space to share resources, share study, and keep in touch, too.
I’d like to ascertain: who else in Cosmos has this need, and could define their specifications (or “user story”) for what they’d like to have happen in this vein? Furthermore, would anyone be willing to put resources (time, talent, money, etc.) toward incubating this potential—and specifically, initiating an experiment, with either my co-ops cohort or another?
Note: this proposal is consistent with the “playbook” and “plug-ins” notions from the Key Docs, i.e., that this feature would be available by subscription for additional cost, and would be only one possible (yet self-complete) way to structure & interact as a user within the Cosmos universe.