What is Community-Based Learning & Why It Matters

Think back to your favorite class in school. 

Was it the one where you sat alone, taking notes in dreary silence? Or was it the class where you collaborated with classmates on exciting projects that came alive?

Chances are, you’ll pick the latter. Because deep down, we learn best when it’s social. Something clicks when we puzzle over problems together or cheer each other on through challenges. Struggling and succeeding alongside peers cements knowledge in a way no lecture could.

But after graduation, learning often returns to a solo activity as we sit in front of screens gulping down information. The community gets stripped away.

Forward-thinking course creators are changing that by pioneering community-based learning. They’re gathering modern tribes and guiding them on journeys of shared knowledge and purpose.

Imagine if your online audience paid you to become a tight-knit class working collectively to master your niche. The passion and possibilities would be electric! 

Are you ready to lead your own virtual tribe on an empowering community journey? Let’s explore how you can transform your creator journey with community-based learning.

What is Community Based Learning?

Community-based learning brings your community together to gain knowledge and skills by solving real-world problems. Imagine turning your audience into an interactive classroom!

But why this enduring human craving for community-based learning? 

Why Community-Based Learning Matters?

Simple—community-based learning speaks to our social DNA. When we learn collaboratively, we evolve faster. Struggles faced together forge deeper bonds. Wins celebrated as a group multiply the joy. 

With community-based learning, you become the facilitator, designing cool experiences where your community can learn collaboratively. They put new skills into practice through projects that benefit your collective community. It’s like leveling up your audience’s abilities. Plus, they get to connect in real life, which builds loyalty.

Here are a few reasons why community learning is beneficial:

  • Hands-on activities and experiential learning opportunities foster better learning
  • Your community learns together and supports each other
  • You provide guidance while empowering your audience to take charge
  • Reflection is built-in so people process and solidify new skills

This approach dates way back to philosophers like John Dewey, who saw the need for real-world, community-focused education. It helps people become active citizens rather than robots programmed just for work duties.

Community-based learning is gaining significant traction in schools and universities to engage students while promoting community service. But it can transform your creator community, too!

Types Of Community-Based Learning

Let’s explore some models for structuring community-based learning to elevate your community.

Service-Learning

With service-learning, your community completes service projects to help a cause or group in need. Say you want to support at-risk youth. You could facilitate a workshop where your community does uplifting art projects for a local youth center.

They get to deepen a skill like art or design while giving back—double win!

Online Clubs

Online clubs help you get paid to share knowledge and support members in building skills.

Picture an online club hosted on a platform like Discord or Telegram where people passionate about a topic, like cooking, marketing, or meditation, come together. The club is led by you, an expert creator who provides instruction and facilitation.

And all processes of getting members, hosting sessions and events, communication, and moderating chats are handled with an all-in-one community platform like Nas.io. In short, your community lives on these platforms, but the club lives and thrives through Nas.io.

Sessions happen regularly, like weekly video workshops where you demonstrate techniques and members practice together. Discussions unfold in forum channels where members ask questions, share progress, and exchange feedback.

You provide mentoring by offering critiques, answering questions, and recognizing member achievements. Special guests could also be brought in for Q&As. Casual chat channels allow space for bonding between sessions.

Online clubs allow creators to foster a tight-knit paid learning community around their niche.

The regular practice and coaching pay off in real-world skills and confidence. Members unlock breakthroughs together, cementing camaraderie. As bonds deepen, an online club becomes a trusted support network and a powerful community, boosting your recurring revenue.

Educational Retreats

Social media lets creators access global audiences easily. But true community means real human connections. That’s why more creators are trying educational retreats to build bonds organically.

Imagine gathering your audience for a weekend getaway. Right away, icebreakers get conversations flowing between online-only friends.

Morning workshops share your niche knowledge interactively – think worksheets and discussions. Hands-on exercises promote active learning.

Afternoons build community through collaborative adventures – scavenger hunts, mini-hackathons, team challenges. Campfire storytelling at night enables vulnerability.

Retreats help your audience feel invested in your brand and each other. Lifelong friendships form. Attendees become proud ambassadors.

Through real-life bonds, you also gain priceless insights into your community’s needs and dreams. Use these to improve your content. Through shared growth, you build loyalty beyond likes.

Online Courses

While online courses are often seen as solo learning journeys, the technology now exists to make them dynamic social experiences. With some strategic planning, your course community can evolve into a tight-knit crew that keeps learners motivated while they gain skills. Here are a few tips:

  • Encourage Bonding Early On

Icebreaker activities, intro posts on a discussion forum, live Zoom mixers, or peer-to-peer video chats are great starts. These bonds will sustain them through the course.

  • Foster Collaboration

On discussion boards, group projects, and peer reviews, get learners collaborating and supporting each other. Shared struggles and successes build affinity.

  • Spotlight Learner Achievements

Highlight stand-out work by learners through your course announcements, email newsletters, or social media. It inspires the community while recognizing their progress.

  • Keep Communication Flowing

Stay engaged daily through discussion comments, updates, and direct outreach.

  • Build a Support Network 

Launch a private Whatsapp group or Slack channel for your course community. They can connect on coursework, share resources, or simply bond. Leave the management to Nas.io.

  • Craft a Shared Vision

Rally your course community around a shared purpose. Maybe it’s to master the skill, change careers, or positively impact the world. This vision keeps everyone motivated.

  • Cultivate Alumni Engagement

After the course ends, find ways to keep alums engaged through exclusives, challenges, meetups, or volunteering. They become ambassadors!

Running a Community-Based Learning Program: Step-By-Step

Ready to roll out an incredible community-based learning initiative? Here’s a handy guide to make it happen.

Creating an online course is a major undertaking. From crafting lessons to marketing, it’s more than a solo activity.

Your community is an invaluable asset in developing online courses that resonate. But how exactly can you leverage your audience?

Follow this step-by-step guide to integrate community participation into your course creation process seamlessly:

Step 1: Survey Community Needs & Interests

A course will only be successful if it solves your community’s burning needs. Use Nas.io’s polls, Q&As and announcements to understand:

  • Their biggest challenges related to your niche
  • Gaps between their current reality and aspirations
  • Specific skills and topics they want to master

This ensures your course addresses tangible community needs they’ll eagerly pay for.

Step 2: Build The Course

Build a course

When your course outline is ready, start assembling the audio, video and reading components of your course. 

If you’re thinking about how to integrate your course with your community, look no further. Nas.io has a course builder that helps you create, host, and earn from courses within your community!

After building your course on Nas.io, get some testers to review the course. This could be a small batch from your community. Guide them through the lessons, assignments, and assessments in your course. Ask for input on:

  • Course structure and flow
  • Lesson clarity and gaps
  • Technical issues or confusion
  • Overall experience

Incorporate testers’ constructive feedback to improve the course before the public launch.

Step 3: Recruit Affiliates

Affiliate marketing leverages partnerships to promote your course. Approach engaged community members with affiliate offers:

  • Promotional codes to share with their network
  • Commission on any course sales driven by their links
  • Free course copies to boost exposure

Give affiliates unique links to your landing page for sharing with their audiences. And don’t stress about building the perfect landing page; Nas.io has got you covered on that! Your community page lists all of your courses presented beautifully with details. You can even customize discounts and show them on your course page

Step 4: Source Content Contributions

Source Content Contributions

Your community members hold invaluable insights on topics related to your niche. Tap into this collective wisdom through content contributions.

You can:

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    • Invite guest articles/videos to incorporate as lessons
    • Curate member posts into a community lesson (you can use Nas.io’s AI feature to generate weekly summaries of people’s chats about the course)
    • Host member Q&As for lesson ideas and diverse perspectives
    • Pay members for course contributions based on views

    Sourcing community-powered content makes your course more inclusive while easing production.

    Step 5: Recruit Live Event Speakers/Hosts

    Recruit Live Event Speakers/Hosts

    To engage your cohort post-enrollment, organize live events like Q&As and workshops using Nasio’s integrated event tools.

    Recruit knowledgeable members to guest host these virtual meetups for a more community-led experience.

    Step 6: Enable Study Groups

    Small study groups keep learners motivated through accountability and collaboration. Segment your course community into groups of 5-8 members.

    They can coordinate meetups via chat, work through lessons together, test each other’s knowledge, celebrate milestones, and more.

    Step 7: Showcase Standout Work

    When members create projects or complete assessments for your course, highlight standout work publicly on community feeds.

    The recognition motivates learners, while surfacing examples boosts community knowledge sharing.

    Step 8: Foster Alumni Networking

    Stay engaged with alums by creating a Nas.io-powered community space for them to network and collaborate after course completion.

    They can discuss applying learnings, share progress on passion projects, pursue community partnerships, and more.

    Step 9: Recruit Ongoing Mentors

    Passionate alums with topic expertise make great mentors for future course cohorts. Recruit them to hold virtual office hours and guide new students.

    Compensate through free re-enrollment, affiliate commissions, or simply recognition.

    Step 10: Collaborate on Follow-Up Courses

    Check back in with alumni to uncover demand for higher-level follow-up courses or tangential topics to cover next. Collaborate with alumni on co-creating these expanded courses.

    This completes the loop, with past students shaping future curricula based on their learning needs.

    You can use Nas.io’s Magic Reach feature to reach alumni community members via email or the app instantly.

    Bring Your Community Along the Entire Course Creation Journey

    Your community is the lifeblood of nurturing impactful online courses from conception to delivery and beyond.

    Integrating members throughout the development process via Nas.io ensures relevance while lightening your production load.

    Most importantly, community participation forges a shared sense of ownership over online courses’ evolution and success.

    Best Community-Based Learning Examples

    Need some inspiration for community-based learning projects? Study these phenomenal real-world examples:

    Invisible College 

    Invisible college

    Invisible College believes in community-powered web3 education. Members gain access to a one-of-a-kind learning experience by joining through the Decentralien NFT collection minted on Nas.io.

    Together, members dive deep into web3 through project-based courses, interactive workshops, and 1:1 mentoring. The tight-knit community bonds over building actual web3 products while mastering skills like smart contract programming, NFT design, and crypto investments.

    Nas.io supercharges Invisible College’s collaborative approach. The platform helps seamlessly onboard new learners into the community. Invisible College can also experiment with novel token-gated educational models thanks to Nas.io’s blockchain-enabled infrastructure.

    Most importantly, Nas.io allows Invisible College to stay decentralized and community-owned. The educational journey is driven by members, for members. 

    Web3 Metaversity

    Yield Guild Games (YGG) hosts a one-of-its-kind Web3 education program for its community, “Web3 Metaversity.” The initiative enables YGG members to upskill and boost their income in Web3 through token-gated access.

    With Nas.io, YGG onboards new members with ease and creates a community-based learning environment. Members work with like-minded individuals and access multiple benefits:

    • A Discord server to chat with fellow Web3 students. 
    • An information-packed Web3 video library.
    • Helpful educational resources courtesy of YGG and Nas.io team (yes, Nas.io helps build communities with active intervention!)
    • Live Zoom sessions with Web3 experts like YGG founder Gabby Dizon and people with various professions in the Web3 space. 

    By leveraging Nas.io’s engaging content and production, YGG combines its Web3 expertise with community-based learning. This partnership aims to unlock leadership potential within the play-to-earn space.  The collaboration demonstrates the power of community-driven Web3 education.

    Nas x GrabForGood

    In 2020, Grab partnered with Nas Academy on an initiative called GrabForGood x Nas Academy Fellowship. The goal was to train content creators while sharing uplifting stories of Grab drivers during the pandemic.

    Nas Academy provided a free 4-week online course to 100 creators in Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines. The Creator Mastercourse taught scriptwriting, video production, and promotion strategies.

    Following the course, fellows completed a 6-month fellowship creating videos highlighting Grab partners who used the platform to thrive during uncertainty.

    One fellow, Jia Chuan Lau, grew his Facebook followers from 997 to 4,528 without prior experience. His videos featured an inspiring 108cm Grab rider in Malaysia.

    Outcomes included:

    • Upskilling creators to start online careers
    • Providing a platform alongside a recognized brand
    • Empowering underprivileged students through storytelling
    • Marketing opportunities for Grab merchants and drivers

    Many fellows secured brand deals, partnerships, and free education. They continue creating content that highlights entrepreneurship and resilience.

    Through community-based learning, Nas and GrabForGood trained creators while spreading positivity.

    The Takeaway

    Community-based learning is a superpower for creators seeking to build tribes of loyal, invested members. When learning is rooted in real human connection, the passion and possibilities multiply exponentially.

    That’s why intelligent creators are increasingly adopting community-based approaches. They design collaborative experiences where their community gains skills, creates change and forms deep relationships.

    The question is – how can you unlock the potential of community-based learning for your brand?

    The good news is that Nas.io makes it easy. Our platform is purpose-built to help creators facilitate engaged communities. We handle the heavy lifting of community management so you can focus on facilitating unique experiences.

    With handy features like Magic Reach, Event Hosting, and Online Courses, you can instantly engage your audience across multiple platforms. Collaborations and interactive learning opportunities are just a few clicks away.

    Nas.io also provides the framework and tools for your community to own the journey. You spark the flame, but members drive the force as you empower them to take charge.

    The time is now to embrace community-based learning. Join Nas.io and unlock the collaborative power of community-based learning today!

    FAQs

    Let’s recap some commonly asked questions about community-based learning:

    What’s the community-based development approach?

    This approach rallies community members to drive change through local grassroots efforts. You facilitate solutions, but the community owns the process!

    What are the three key features of learning communities?

    1. Integration of concepts across projects and experiences
    2. Active learning connecting lessons to real-life
    3. Strong social connections between all members

    What is the value of community-based learning?

    Community-based learning provides engaging, hands-on learning while building community connections and civic responsibility!

    What are the benefits of community-based learning?

    For communities: developing skills, professional experiences, and community impact

    For you: audience engagement, leadership development, new partnership opportunities

    What are the challenges with community-based learning, and how do you address them?

    Challenge: Logistics like technology, supplies, or transportation.

    Solution: Get creative with cost-effective options! You can explore Nas.io to take care of the tech.

    Challenge: Hesitant community members.

    Solution: Highlight benefits and provide support.

    Challenge: Connecting activities to learning goals.

    Solution: Collaborate with partners to integrate projects.

    Let the community connections begin!

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