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Engage professional learners in your educational initiatives.

Participate online learning communities are all-in-one collaboration spaces to house your content, scale your institution’s educational initiatives and connect your constituents online.

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How education institutions use Communities of Practice

 Engage your professional learners in authentic growth. 

Online courses

Create virtual training and blended learning experiences through self-paced online courses. Our e-learning structure allows you to create courses from scratch or using existing content. Easily embed media, connect with community members in learning checkpoints and monetize courses with our built-in e-commerce functionality. Each course is accompanied with a peer-reviewed micro-credential saved to a community member’s profile and easily shared via a micro-credential link. Read more about micro-credentials.

Educational institutions use virtual courses to design learning pathways that build upon in-person courses, museum events or staff professional development trainings.

 Deepen your connection with community members. 

Discussion threads

Unlike boring discussion forums, we’ve designed our discussion threads to be collaborative and easily embedded into learning experiences within your community. Starting a discussion thread takes seconds and can be tied to institutional projects, online training courses, topics of interest or simply getting to know one another in the community. Embed media, tag users and subscribe to discussions for email updates so that you never miss a beat. Take a look at a discussion thread here to see what's possible.

Peer mentorship

Spend time getting to know community members through formative and summative feedback structures. Our communities use a peer-reviewed micro-credential structure to reward achievements made and learning competencies achieved. Universities, museums and school districts use peer mentorship to ensure learning products tie back to course competencies and to engage members within the community. Learn more about this process here.


As your organization grows, create groups, or cohorts, to target communications based on specific interests, projects, levels of ambassadors and more. Groups can be used for tailored announcements and private discussions within your community.

 Share updates with whom you want, when you want. 

Community announcements

Long gone are the tedious days of creating segmented email lists. Send announcements to your institution’s community, semester cohorts or various groups of users within your community on topics relevant to them. Announcements appear on the community home feed and automatically send emails to community members.

Direct messaging

Have a quick question? Directly message members of your community or engage with other education institution leaders on the Participate platform. Our direct messaging feature allows you to search and connect with users in effective, real-time communication.

 A one-stop shop for your institution's resources. 

Resource collections

Organize your education institution’s resources in online resource collections. Similar to any online cloud folder, resource collections house all of the links and descriptions you need in one, privacy-safe space. Our resources tab also offers the opportunity to create customized webpages within your community. Collections can be hidden, public or private so that only members of the community or users of your choice can access them.

Watch our product demo to learn more

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Education institutions in action

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New York Hall of Science

When the New York Hall of Science (NYSCI) developed a new student computational thinking game, The Pack, they were looking for a learning platform and partner with a strong background in education to support a robust teacher development program. An online Community of Practice with Participate continues to provide NYSCI educators with asynchronous professional learning experiences, a space to collaborate with other educators and product feedback structures for NYSCI to learn how educators use The Pack in their classrooms and beyond.

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Elon University

Elon University, a small private university based in Elon, N.C., uses a series of CoPs to train pre-service teachers, grant gifted education licensures and provide clinical teacher learning and support. Graduate students attend in-person classes and further learning and connection within the online community. Community members are awarded state-recognized micro-credentials for specific competencies they acquire.

One woman pointing at a poster on a wall with two other women taking notes

A recent shortage in bilingual teachers has led districts to hire teachers needing an additional level of training that districts may not be prepared to provide. To address this situation, Wabash Valley Education Service Center (ESC) built a CoP focused on supporting educators and providing quality professional learning resources for all ELL teachers in Wabash Valley. In this community, teachers across more than 90 districts curate shared collections of teaching resources, share classroom best practices through collaborative discussions and take certified courses with competency-based micro-credentials.

Resources for education institutions

Explore how education institutions like yours can build community and strengthen their impact.

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[Free download] Your guide to building collaborative, online communities

Sign up for a three-part guide on community facilitation, engagement and growth.

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How an education service center uses a community to support ELL educators

Read about #ICANHELP’s community efforts to expand their message of positive social media use in teens

Read the blog →
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[Case study] How a science museum is shaping the future of game-based learning

Explore how NYSCI built a blended learning model to support their computational thinking game, The Pack.

Learn more →

FAQs for education institutions

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