2. Connected Learning Design Principles

In order to connect teen’s interests, relationships, and opportunity, connected learning programs follow a set of design principles: they are production centered, build pathways, sponsor youth interests, and create a sense of shared purpose. This section examines those principles.

After completing this section, you will be able to...

  • Name and describe the connected learning design principles: production, multiple pathways, shared purpose, and sponsorship.
  • Recognize implementations of each principle in youth programs
  • Evaluate your own programs to see how well they connect these spheres

While the three spheres describe learning contexts, the four design principles describe elements of connected learning experiences. Connected learning experiences are designed to involve:

  • Production: Learning through creation
  • Multiple Pathways: Providing teens with resources and pathways to success
  • Shared Purpose: Connecting teens to an effort that is bigger than themselves
  • Sponsorship: Peers and adults validating teens’ interests through mentorship and other support