Library Planning Research

Communities of Practice Support Online Learning

The greatest misconception about instructional technology is the idea that online learning or remote learning is a finite game. It is an infinite game, which we call Lifelong Learning. Because education is an infinite game, we must plan and develop a more sustainable system of education. The goal is not to “win” but to keep the will to learn strong.

To succeed, online learning technology must be organized to create, improve, and utilize instructional programs that can take advantage of existing online resources and knowledge. For many schools, these efforts require a focus and level of expenditure that were not part of the strategic plan.

The development of communities of practice (the Trusting Team) is a model we have developed to support many organizations over the last 50 years. To see what a Trusting Team might look like, let’s first examine a hybrid learning model that will be employed to support education.

    Hybrid Learning

  • Online Learning
  • Limited Classroom Meetings
  • Online Research (potential to request all formats from library)

The use of hybrid education is possible because we can record and analyze student responses. We can share instructional packets and host collaborative computer-managed class sessions. We can enhance the remote learning experience by providing students and faculty with a trusted team. This could include a library staff, instructional support, faculty and student.

Looking for a Demonstration Project

Done right, the creation of an institutional online infrastructure requires a collaborative culture: Colleges and Universities need to erase the invisible line between the library and the school. For example, we are looking for an educational partner to learn more about active learning scenarios. Odigia is a software company that is ready to assist the education community. They can provide the flexibility to quickly shift between virtual, hybrid/blended, and face-to-face courses.


Trusting Teams

A few years ago, we developed a program for a library that had no traditional office. We were challenged by the idea that the library could be virtual and the staff could be located anywhere in the world.

Aaron Cohen Associates, LTD developed a concept called Trusting Teams. It allows the people on online teams to do their best work, providing them with a team of librarians to help. We sold the management of the corporation on the idea that the creation of a library community of practice would enhance the online infrastructure. Information technology can indeed be collaborative.

The relationship between learning and environment should not be discounted. You can improve teaching and learning by providing both online resources and faculty assistance. The learner has an amazing capacity for adaptation; provide a Trusting Team and build better learning outcomes. This requires the academic services to have a long term plan.

menu for library outreach

Aaron Cohen Associates, LTD can build the next generation digital library plan to support online education. Institutions can use our framework to improve student success. We have partners that can help your community. Together we can provide the flexibility to realign services from physical to a hybrid/blended library.