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Using Trello To Facilitate Skillsharing

I work with a lot of really smart people, and chances are, you do, too! Our company encourages learning, even outside of things that relate to our jobs, so a friend of mine and I decided to find a way to combine all of our fellow employees' skills with our desires to learn things, and we found Trello was the perfect tool to make it all happen. 

We created a board that gives people a way to request things that they want to learn - anything from "practicing conversational Spanish" to "how to photoshop" to "best Settlers of Catan strategies" to anything else in between!

When someone who has mad Settlers skills sees that card, they can add themselves as a teacher and set up a 30-minute Zoom to discuss! It's a win-win! People get to learn, people get to practice their skills, and we're all the better for it. 

I was amazed at how perfect Trello was for facilitating this. We actually wanted to use GitHub because so many people at our company are already on that and using it, so it seemed more natural than getting more people to join Trello. But we just couldn't make it work. GitHub was too bulky, and the projects view didn't let us add enough detail to the cards, and creating a repo with issues just seemed like too much effort. We also thought about trying to use a Google Sheet, but after playing around with it and not finding ANY easy way to organize it, we decided Trello was just the clear winner here. (Of course, as a huge Trello nerd, I was thrilled we came to this conclusion. 😀)

So if you want to implement this with your company, your family, or your friends, I'll go into a few more details about how exactly it works. To follow along, here's an example board.

Screen Shot 2019-02-20 at 10.23.50 AM.png

1) The first list needs to simply explain how this board will work.

You want it to make as much sense as possible and not require you to have to explain it to everyone each time they're interested in learning or teaching something. Feel free to use the same cards that I've created on this example board as it's a v5 iteration of what I initially had and it seems to be making the most sense for everyone. 

2) Make a list where people can add a card for things they want to learn and another list where people can add a card for things they want to teach. 

Make sure people know that when they add a card, they need to add themselves as a member. That way they'll be associated with it and get notifications about scheduling and when a teacher/student match is made!

3) Use the Custom Fields Power-Up To Clarify Details

I used the Custom Fields Power-Up to let people specify who was the teacher. It started to get confusing when there were multiple people on a card. We weren't sure if there were 3 people who wanted to learn, or if there were 2 people who wanted to learn and a teacher. Adding the teacher field made it easy to identify who was "in charge" and also made it easy to spot if we need to find a teacher for a skill. 

4) When a teacher and student are paired, it's time to learn!

When a teacher has a student (or vice versa), they move the card to "Let's Learn!" and that's when they work out the logistics. We recommend people to use comments to find a time that works, and then schedule something on their calendars. We also recommend they update the "Due Date" field to be the date that they want to do the training. Lastly, we ask that they record via Zoom so that we can share it for posterity. 

5) After the training, move the card to "Things We Learned" with a link to the recording.

After the training session, we ask that people leave any comments on the card, and update the description with a link to the Zoom recording (or attach the file to the card). Then, if someone joins the board and wants to learn something that's already been taught, they can access it in on our on-demand skills library!

We just launched this a week ago and we're already seeing some really cool results. We've already had one training session occur sucessfully, and have several more scheduled! Not only is it helpful us all learn and grow in our skills, but it's also fostering an amazing sense of community and comradery amongst us!

1 comment

Jodi LeBlanc Community Leader Feb 20, 2019

This is brilliant @Brittany Joiner it's like a virtual sharing circle/community school in one! Love it and I look forward to adapting this for my organization with your future posts on the topic :)

Thanks for sharing!

Jodi

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