2 Replies Latest reply on Dec 19, 2014 8:26 AM by cwatsonfelt

    Designing an external learning-type community - spaces vs. groups


      Hi Learning community - I recently asked this question to the External Communities group but think you all might have more first hand experience with this "cake-and-eat-it-too" conundrum - the space my company is designing will be a type of learning community. I'm pasting the question here - let me know your thoughts and thanks in advance!


      I have a question about designing the structure and organization of external communities - when to use spaces vs. groups specifically and the customization around them.  Looking at the examples, I'm finding it difficult to interpret - in Jive-speak - how these spaces are structured.  Does anyone have ideas or advice on interpreting what you see in the external examples as a means of helping to make structural design and organization decisions for your own instance? What we're aiming to design is an environment wherein we want to be able to highly organize the information we make accessible and enable (and encourage) active dialogue about that material.  To add to it, each high-level place will belong to a client of sorts and need to be able to be able to be separated from the rest of the community, customized and further subdivided for separate groups of people within each client.  I'm thinking spaces would be best for the organization but i know that requires a lot of managing of permissioning and enabling chat etc.  I also don't want to end up with a million groups down the line - many groupings of which might end up dedicated to specific clients. Has anyone found that it's possible to have really robust discussions within spaces and sub-spaces or have you come up against any issues with that model?


      We'll be discussing further with one of the LMS Jive Partners today and i'm really looking forward to it but thought i'd pick the "Learning" collective brain too!

        • Re: Designing an external learning-type community - spaces vs. groups

          Hi Caroline. While I'm not intimately familiar with the external examples you mention - or of course the specific details of your need - one approach that we've used for a similar use case used spaces and projects. It was a way to have some defined structure while also tailoring content and interactions to a particular - in this case - degree program. Without boring you with the details it was for a large, mostly online university whose courses were taught by several thousand adjunct faculty located all over the place. The permissioning was open in the sense that an instructor from one college had access to the other colleges' communities for cross-disciplinary purposes. I recognize that your permissioning approach would probably be different given that you're talking about clients. I'd be happy to briefly share/show you their community offline if you think that'd be helpful.


          Re: the LMS angle, I'm not sure if you're talking with Nils Heuer and their SmarterPath product, but if you are one of the features that we like is the ability for learning tracks to be embedded within the context of either a group or a space. So for instance if a given client purchased a certain product/service and you need to provide them with related training or curated support documentation there a few different ways that learning content can be easily surfaced within their own particular client community.


          Enjoy your holiday!

            • Re: Designing an external learning-type community - spaces vs. groups

              Hi Stan Jeffress - thanks for this super helpful comment!  Yes, we are speaking to Nils Heuer in less than 10 minutes and they've put together a really great design but i wanted to also gather insights from other community managers as well.  What you've done sounds right to me for case as well and was my instinct but since i've only been using JIVE since mid-September and this is our first external instance I wanted to "sanity check."  We're really looking forward to our chat with Nils!  Thanks again.  Happy holidays to you as well!