Online learning communities have been emerging on the internet scene for quite some time now. Even before the pandemic hit, many people joined these forums to communicate updates and queries and provide general encouragement, help, and motivation to achieve their goals.
“Given the growth of technology and the lack of geographic barriers on the internet, online communities are the new hub for innovation and learning. Like “real-life” communities, online communities have shared interests, trust, operating norms, and roles, creating the foundation for effective interactions.”[i]
Some positive aspects of these communities include membership, influence, fulfillment of individual needs, shared events, and emotional connections to a learning community. Membership in a community gives each participant a sense of belonging. This sense of belonging helps to build bonds between members, which results in encouragement for them to stay connected and keep helping one another. Additionally, for a learning community to work well, every member should react and respond to what they see. This requires them to be present not only when there is a debate but also when people need advice and ideas. Furthermore, people tend to participate in a learning community to absorb the material and ask and answer questions. They should have the ability to express their opinions openly. In this way, community members can give and receive.
In addition, members of a learning community must also be able to share positive and negative experiences. Sharing experiences can help people connect, trust one another, and learn from one another. This results in a strong sense of community among the members.
Bottom line, a learning community becomes effective when it is held together by the right elements. This includes a fundamental goal, where the purpose of the community is defined from the get-go; identity, where a person’s identity is found through belonging to the community as a member; discussion and supportive participation, where members can discuss matters in a mindful, supporting and encouraging way; and shared values, which is the general perspective that members of the learning community share. Having those shared values is what unites them and enables them to promote an evolving discourse.
Much like everything else, therefore, there are pros and cons to the establishment of an online learning community.
The first benefit is improved retention rates. Learning communities have been shown to boost student retention rates. Regardless of age, students who participate in learning communities feel considerably more inspired to study and to keep learning. This is because they don’t feel alone in the process. A community serves as a support system, guiding you through the process and making it less lonely. Furthermore, they provide an effective and safe place to seek assistance. The more community members assist one another, the more empowered they feel to accomplish more in their studies.
Many students benefit from going over class material together through discussion since it helps them remember what they’ve learned. The more that co-learners talk, the more likely they are to remember what they’ve learned and continued learning. Second, online learning platforms are more integrative. Generally, co-learners are viewed as competitors in the academic environment. However, people are considered allies in a learning community. A learning community brings people together to help one another along their path. If someone needs assistance, others will gladly provide it. The third benefit to online learning is that when done right, it provides high-quality education. Online learning communities are seen to be beneficial to students’ learning. In addition to enhancing recall rates and reinforcing information, high-quality learning is facilitated by the abundance of learning chances. Members benefit not just from their study materials but also from each other’s experiences. The ability to interact and discuss with other learners provides opportunities to learn things that weren’t included in the course material. By hearing about other people’s experiences, learners will be less likely to make the same mistakes. This saves time and effort and makes them less likely to get discouraged and stop. Other benefits include collaborative knowledge and practice-based learning.
The most significant concern for educators in learning communities is the temptation for members to lose their sense of motivation. This is relatively frequent nowadays, especially among adult learners who are too busy or exhausted to put in the effort and expect everything to come effortlessly to them. Learners may try to take advantage of others in such situations by absorbing what they share rather than making an effort to find things out for themselves. When a member is too lethargic to put in the effort to participate, other members will be hesitant to share their thoughts. This can lead to feelings of hatred and mistrust among users, suffocating the positive environment. To address this potential problem, educators must make an effort to make sure learners develop both a personal and a group identity. Personal identity refers to how people see themselves in comparison with their peers; what strengths and value do they bring? What unique attitude and personality do they have?
On the other hand, group identity is how people collectively identify themselves, including their shared values, aims, and ideals. Striking a balance between the two identities could help to create a good learning community. As a result, some online courses reward individuals with individual milestones, such as badges when they complete a specific goal. These badges include content mapping, or unlocked content. With this reward system, educators can define and recognize an individual’s achievement in isolation from the group’s achievement.
Taking all of these pros and cons into account, Break Diving has established a not-for-profit social media site (at breakdiving.io) that is dedicated to changing the current social media landscape. The organization was founded on one mission; to increase people’s success, happiness, and friendships worldwide. The team behind Break Diving understands that traditional social media is one of the biggest causes of depression, arrogance, selfishness, and loneliness in the modern world. Additionally, regardless of one’s accomplishments, most people feel like they are still inadequate and cannot shake feelings that they have failed compared to their peers. Finally, despite the Internet offering us better connections to the rest of the world, most of us still lack true friendship and camaraderie.
Break Diving is changing this. The platform has proven to be a force of inspiration and support in the world by: 1) Helping people feel more connected and supported, 2) Building a positive alternative to all other social media platforms that brings people together in harmony, 3) Helping users achieve all their life goals and encouraging them to inspire others as well, 4) Creating a global mentorship program, and 5) Expanding everyone’s global cultural perspective to promote mutual understanding.
Unlike other platforms, Break Diving has regular live events that members can attend. They also offer a “dive certification program” that allows members to get certified in hundreds of “dives” at various levels. Dives are tasks that members can complete to show their skills in particular areas. Additionally, through their peer-networking support groups and events, they offer motivation and support. Finally, through the top-down mentorship and support program infused in their community, they help provide strategy and business sense.
The platform combines the best parts of other social media platforms. Break Diving has a rigorous application process as well as a clear Diver’s Code and Member Expectations. Since they are more than a social media site, they do not just accept anyone. Break Diving cares about its community. For this reason, they only accept applicants who will fit in, enjoy the experience and make the platform better. While their plan is not to exclude anyone, their application process is designed to help people understand what Break Diving is all about so that users can be positive members of the community from day one. The supportive community is filled with coders, writers, linguaphiles, performers, investors, entrepreneurs, travelers and parents from all over the world. While the members come from all walks of life, they’re all ambitious, motivated, friendly, helpful, and committed to helping others succeed.
If you love to learn from others and share with others, improve your life, develop greater self-esteem and pursue your dreams, Break Diving is the perfect social media platform for you.
If you’re interested in applying for Break Diving, click here to start your application. You can also get more information on these platforms:
Community Site: https://www.breakdiving.io/
Corporate Site: https://www.breakdiving.org/
W.Y.S.E Blog: https://wyseguidance.org/