When you choose to study a subject, you join its learning community. In other words, you join a group of people who are excited about the same subject matter.
The social dynamics of these communities offer opportunities for informal learning. The more you become an active member, the more you will reinforce your learning.
As you progress in a field, your potential as a contributor will increase. So, you’ll move from being a consumer of knowledge to being a consumer/creator, or from a simple receiver to a receiver/transmitter. In other words, you’ll be able to give back to the community what it gave you when you started out.
There are many ways to contribute. When you participate in these communities, you will be able to:
Reply to questions in the forums
Discuss orally, over the phone or by video link with other learners
Create content (articles, videos, podcasts, etc.)
Give training sessions
Take part in conferences
Participate in events (meetups, hackathons, etc.)
Become the mentor that you would have loved having when you started out, whether as a volunteer, for your family and friends, or even as a paid gig! (Click the link to find out more.)
You will see that, as well as creating value for other learners, sharing your knowledge will enrich your own practice.
Finally, in the next and last chapter, we’ll focus on the role of assessment in your learning. I’ll show you how to assess yourself effectively.