Mighty Networks Tour: Blending Courses & Community

Ever since I transitioned from a career in high school teaching to the world of online education and entrepreneurship, I’ve been on the lookout for the best place to build my online classroom.

Here I’d like to give you a tour of my favorite environment so far – a learning and community platform called Mighty Networks.

If you’d like to check out the network that I’ve built for folks developing their sketchnoting skills, you can do that here:

Verbal to Visual’s Courses & Community

If you’d like to learn more about the learning and community platform that I’m using, check it out here:

Mighty Networks

Note that the link above is an affiliate link, which means that if you follow it and decide to sign up for Mighty Networks I get a commission, but it doesn’t cost you any extra.

The Network Level

There are three levels to the Mighty Networks learning environment that I’d like to point out: courses, groups, and the network.

Let’s start at the network level, because that’s the overarching umbrella.

Anyone who signs up for a sketchnoting course or decides to join the community becomes part of the Verbal to Visual network.

From the network Home page, you see all of the activity related to the things you’re a part of.

The Home page shows you all of the recent activity from the courses and groups that you’re a part of.

I’ve also created some perks at the network level, for anyone who has signed up for a course or joined the community.

You can see those perks by checking out the network level topics.

You can sign up for free coaching calls, join in on the recording of a new video series call Sketchnote Breakdown, and participate in Watch Parties and Listen Parties for new videos and podcast episodes.

Network level topics are perks that I provide for anyone who signs up for a course or the community.

Another feature that I enjoy about the Mighty Networks platform is the ability to create events!

I love being able to create events for things like webinars and watch parties.

What I appreciate about making events is that some can live at the network level (which everyone has access to), and some can live within a dedicated course that only folks signed up for that course will see.

As a member you can RSVP to the events that you don’t want to miss, which will trigger a reminder a half hour or so before it starts.

Mighty Networks is also a very social learning environment.

Each member has the opportunity to create their own profile, which can help you connect to folks with similar interests or those who live in the same part of the world as you.

It’s fun to check out the members section to see who else is on a similar path as you.

What’s also nice about this platform is the ability to send direct messages to other community members.

That can be a great way to keep a conversation going that starts in a webinar or comment section.

The Courses

Next let’s take a look at how courses work within Mighty Networks.

From the Courses main menu item, you’ll see both the courses you’re already signed up for and the other ones offered on the platform that you might want to pick up.

Course management and purchase is built right into the system.

Once you dig into a specific course, the Table of Contents gives an overview of all lessons and encourages you to hop in wherever you left off.

A clear Table of Contents lets you know where you’ve left off so that you can hop right back in.

Each lesson page encourages you to focus in on that particular material.

Navigating from one lesson to the next is smooth and easy (note that you can take the lesson page full screen if you want to cut out distraction).

Within each course you’ll also find a set of topics (think of these as forums) where you can share your work and ask questions connected to specific units within the course.

Each course has its own set of topics – think of these as forums where you can share your work or ask questions about a given unit.

From the course Activity Feed you’ll be able to see all of the recent posts made by other students – notice the tags at the bottom that show the course and the specific topic where the post was made.

The course Activity Feed shows you the latest posts made to those topics – it’s a great place to see what folks are working on and thinking about.

That type of structure within each course helps you maintain momentum as you work from one lesson to the next, and also keeps the conversations that arise organized in a helpful way.

The Community

Next let’s take a look at what’s going on inside The Verbal to Visual Community, the single group that lives within Verbal to Visual’s network.

Each group gets its own set of topics as well, which is the best place to get a sense of the activities going on inside The Verbal to Visual Community.

Within The Verbal to Visual Community I’ve created topics connected to our weekly calendar of activities, as well as places for folks to ask questions and share their sketchnotes.

Community members have specific places to ask a question about sketchnoting, share their latest sketchnotes, and participate in these weekly activities: Questions of the Week and Sketchnoting Prompts.

The Questions of the Week are an opportunity to think through some aspect of that month’s theme.

By responding to the Question of the Week and seeing the responses of others, you’ll solidify your thoughts around a particular element of that month’s theme (which in this case is Build Your Visual Vocabulary).

Then you’ve got Sketchnoting Prompts as a regular opportunity to build your skills.

Weekly Sketchnoting Prompts give folks the opportunity to put pen to paper and work on their skills.

What I like about those prompts is that in addition to the benefit of completing the activity yourself, you also get to learn from others based on the images they share of their responses to the same prompt.

At the beginning of each month I host a Monthly Mastermind – an opportunity for us to connect live.

Monthly Masterminds give us the chance to connect live and talk through what we’re working on and the challenges we’re facing.

Those live chats are a great opportunity to go a bit deeper into the work we’re each doing and develop a much clearer sense of the next best steps to take.

I appreciate how the Group feature within Mighty Networks gives you the option to gather a specific group of people together and provide opportunities for those folks to interact in meaningful ways.

I’m already excited about the energy I see within our group – The Verbal to Visual Community.

Keep Exploring

I hope that gives you a sense of what’s going on within Verbal to Visual’s Mighty Network!

I’m very excited about the potential of this platform to facilitate deep learning and real connections.

Here’s where you can learn more about the courses and community I’m hosting: Verbal to Visual.

And here’s where you can learn more about the platform that makes those courses and community possible: Mighty Networks.