Building a learning community is an important component of your educational experience. Although the majority of McGill School of Continuing Students live off-campus, that doesn’t mean a strong community of peers isn’t possible. All that’s needed is an investment of time and energy into making use of resources and connections.

What is a learning community?

According to Wikipedia, a learning community is a “group of people who share common academic goals and attitudes, who meet semi-regularly to collaborate on classwork.”  You don’t have to create small study group, or even meeting in person. Think even bigger! Ideally, a community includes a variety of connections that you remain consistently in contact with.

Research has confirmed that making the effort to seek out a variety of people to learn with who are studying or interested in the same things benefits your learning. Don’t let assigned groups in classes be your default.

How do you go about building one?

Think about who inspires you and makes you think. Keep the discussion going with someone you clicked with in class via email. Reach out to get inspired using a variety of channels. For example, try following an industry thought leader on their professional social networks. It’s also a great idea to go to MACES events to meet more people who are also continuing their education at McGill – you never know who has the same interests as you!

Why build one?

Learning from your peers and a diversity of perspectives can only deepen your knowledge. You can easily book a group study room online in one of McGill’s libraries or at the MACES building, so there’s no excuse for not having the quiet space to meet! Keep your online interactions healthy as well. Keep in touch with past colleagues and classmates who you worked well with. You never know when you’ll need feedback or help on a project.