Nurturing and Stewarding Engaged Online Communities

Course overview

Building and nurturing a community in an online environment comes with specific needs and challenges. This course is designed with scientific community managers of communities in practice in mind, and will explore best practices and use cases relevant to STEM communities using Slack, Higher Logic, and other online platforms. With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it is also relevant to community managers who have had to shift their community’s activities into online spaces.

Anyone can register for this course. However, if you are unfamiliar with CSCCE’s core frameworks we strongly recommend taking Scientific Community Engagement Fundamentals first, since we will be building from principles covered there. CEFP alumnae will have the background needed to take this course.

Course structure

Each week, participants will meet virtually (using Zoom) for a 90 minute lesson and a 60 minute Co-Lab. While lessons will involve structured presentations and activities, Co-Lab time is for more discussion, reporting out, and seeking feedback from instructors and fellow learners.

Each week will also include approximately 90 minutes of homework, for a total time commitment of 4 hours per week

Successful completion of the course requires attendance at 11 out of 12 of these sessions, at a minimum, as well as completion of homework assignments.


  • Camille Santistevan, CSCCE Lead Trainer and Curriculum Development Specialist
  • Lou Woodley, CSCCE Director

Topics covered

  • The roles of an online community manager
  • Content planning and development
  • Technical support to aid adoption
  • Supportive and transparent communications to facilitate sharing

Upcoming session

The next offering of this course (#NOC21W) will take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays starting 16 March 2021 and running as follows: 

  • Tuesday Lessons (12 pm – 1:30 US Eastern Time): 16, 23, 30 March, 6, 13, 20 April
  • Friday Co-Lab (12 pm – 1 pm US Eastern Time): 19, 26 March, 1*, 9, 16 23 April

*Note that the 2 April Co-Lab will be held on Thursday 1 April due to the Easter Holiday

Registration is now open, and we work on a first come first served basis. Enrollment limited to 20.

Registration deadline: 12 February 2020