How To Use the Learning Exchange    

NCDD’s Learning Exchange was created to help you find what you need to improve your work, build your skills and increase your knowledge about D&D as quickly and easily as possible. With over 2100 entries, the Learning Exchange is the best place online for you to find dialogue and deliberation-related books, articles, videos, organizations, consultants, approaches, tools, and more.

We hope that once you get the hang of using the Learning Exchange, you find it as user-friendly as we intended for it to be!

The Learning Exchange is located at www.thataway.org/exchange/.  From any page on the NCDD website, just click on the word “resources” in the menu at the top of the page to get there.

There are four different ways to find what you’re looking for in the Learning Exchange.

1. Do a General Search

You can search for any word or phrase by using the search box that is located at the top of the main page of the Learning Exchange, and in the sidebar throughout the Learning Exchange under the five most recently added resources.

The search is set to look at the title, publishing information, author, summary, description, and other fields.

If you are searching for a specific resource and know the title or part of a title, try putting quotes around your search. A search for “engagement streams framework” (with quotation marks) yields 1 result, while the same search without quotes yields over 200 results since the word “engagement” alone is found in many resources.

2. Use the “Focus In” Search Feature

Below the search box on the main page of the Learning Exchange, you’ll see an option to “Focus in on exactly what you need.”  The Focus In search allows you to select as many or as few categories (books, articles, etc.) and topics (dialogue, deliberation, etc.) as you’d like to.  This feature is for you if you’re looking for training opportunities in conflict resolution, tools for collaborative problem solving, books about numerous topics, etc.

If you find that you get too many results and want to narrow your options, click on “Narrow your results” at the top of the page or just scroll down to the bottom of the page to select the categories you’d like to sort by.  This is particularly useful if you select a category that has sub-categories, like “Electronic Resources for D&D,” “Tools for D&D or Collaboration,” or “Arts-Based D&D.”

3. Take Advantage of our Highlighted Topics

Below the Focus In search, you’ll see another search option that we created to help you find either timely or popular resources quickly and easily.  This feature will help you find resources on hot-button issues, as well as highly sought-after resources such as meaty descriptions of D&D methods, D&D-related educational and training programs, and arts-based D&D programs.  Let us know ([email protected]) if you have a suggestion for a topic or category that we should highlight here.

4. Use the “Explore” Sidebar Box

Under the Latest Additions box in the sidebar, you’ll see a box with the headline “Explore the Learning Exchange.”  This box allows you to click through all the resources the way you’re probably most accustomed to, but choosing categories and sub-categories until you find what you want.

First, you need to decide whether you’d like to explore…

  • the best resources for beginners – listed by interest areas such as dialogue, conflict resolution, and higher education
  • the most highly recommended resources – also listed by interest areas
  • all of the resources – which are listed by topic such as D&D methods, interest areas, etc. rather than types of resources like books and organizations
  • specific types of resources – books, articles, videos, tools, guides to D&D, etc.
  • interest areas – arts-based D&D, collaborative problem solving, public participation, dialogue, etc.
  • facets or aspects of D&D work – like facilitation, evaluation, PR/media, and theory
  • models and techniques – like sustained dialogue, conversation cafe, intergroup dialogue, deliberative polling, online D&D, and so on
  • issues addressed through D&D – the environment, health care, Jewish-Muslim relations, police-community relations, terrorism & security, etc.
  • venues for D&D – like communities, national, online, and K-12 education

Then you can just click through the categories and sub-categories – or use the “Narrow Your Results” links at the bottom of the page to creatively find exactly what you need.  For example, suppose you’d like to know what manuals and guides about dialogue NCDD recommends highly.  You would select “highly recommended resources” in the Explore sidebar, then you’d select “dialogue.”  Then you would click on “Narrow Your Results” or just scroll down to the Narrow Your Results links at the bottom of the page, and select “Manuals & Guides.”

Or perhaps you’re looking for good handouts about deliberative democracy for an upcoming presentation you’re giving.  You would select “interest areas” in the Explore sidebar, then “deliberative democracy.”  Then you would select “Tools for D&D and Collaboration” from the Narrow Your Results links at the bottom of the page.  Then you could choose “Great Handouts.”

Seems confusing?  Hopefully it won’t be after you play around a bit in the Learning Exchange.  If you still have trouble finding exactly what you need, email us ([email protected]) and tell us what you’re looking for.  If it’s in the Learning Exchange, we’ll find it and send you directly to it – plus we’ll explain how we got there.

Other Features

So those are the four main ways to find what you need in the Learning Exchange.  But there are other things you may want to be aware of.  First, notice the “key” at the bottom of the sidebar.  It explains the little symbols that tell you whether a resource is newly added, highly recommended, great for beginners, or recently updated.

Also notice the “Add a Resource” box in the sidebar.  We count on our members and visitors to make sure thataway.org is the most updated, comprehensive place to go online for dialogue and deliberation resources.

Also notice that when you click into a resource you are given an option to suggest changes or additions to the listing.  And you can view and click on the various categories and topics the resources has assigned to it – yet one more way to explore the resources in the Learning Exchange.

We hope you found this Beginner’s Guide to the Learning Exchange to be helpful.  If you have a suggestion for something to add to this page or something we should clarify, please let us know by emailing [email protected].  Happy exploring!

© 2003-2008 National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation.
Learn more about us or explore this site.

###