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 alumni 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 Director of Learning
  • Lou Woodley, CSCCE Director

Topics covered

This course covers six core areas around planning and hosting successful online communities. These include:

  • Launching new online communities
  • Onboarding for new members
  • Encouraging participation and commitment
  • Technical support to aid adoption

Upcoming session

We are currently adapting NOC to use a learning management system (LMS) in addition to the lesson and Co-Lab structure described above.
Pre-register for our 2022 sessions here. Pre-registration guarantees that you will be among the first to know when we announce our training dates, as well as access to priority registration.

Past session

#NOC21W finished on Friday, 30 April. The course ran on Tuesdays and Fridays as follows:

  • Tuesday Lessons: 16, 23, 30 March, 6, 13, 20, 27 April, 12-1:30pm US Eastern Time
  • Friday Co-Lab: 19, 26 March, 1*, 9, 16, 23 April, 12-1pm US Eastern Time
  • Graduation: 30 April, 11:30 am – 1:30 pm US Eastern Time (first 30 mins optional)

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