CG Leader Toolkit

Managing and Engaging Your Community Group

Below we've put together the tools you need to manage and engage your community group participants.

CG Leader Responsibilities and Benefits

Responsibilities as a CG leader include:

  • Inviting, facilitating, and managing the CG's online group discussion forum.
  • Planning regular or occasional CG virtual engagement opportunities, such as calls, webinars, or meetups.
  • Managing and leading any CG projects (such as content development).
  • Planning and leading the CG's in-person meeting at the EDUCAUSE Annual Conference. Leaders who are unable to attend the conference are responsible for identifying and confirming an alternative from the CG community to lead the in-person session.
  • Identifying new leaders and assisting with onboarding.
  • For CGs with steering committees, leading the CG's steering committee, planning regular steering committee calls and agenda items, and coordinating or delegating action items.
  • Periodically reviewing group activity, making recommendations, and sharing issues and concerns with EDUCAUSE CG staff.
  • Filling out the annual CG survey, which provides information about your CG activities for the year.
  • Optionally, participating in the CG Peer Mentoring Program.

CG Leaders also participate in the CG Leaders Committee. The committee focuses on what CG leaders and EDUCAUSE can do to increase community engagement, offer professional growth, and support learning and networking. The committee meets via phone call monthly, has an online discussion forum for regular information exchange, and meets in person at the EDUCAUSE Annual Conference (in-person attendance is not required). Webinars are offered periodically on topics that support the leaders.

In addition, the CG Leaders Committee forms subgroups of CG Leaders to address specific issues. Participation in the subgroups is on a volunteer basis and requires a one-year commitment (though subgroups may complete their work and disband early). Subgroups typically meet biweekly until completion.

CG Leaders are awarded an EDUCAUSE Volunteer Service Microcredential to acknowledge their contributions annually.



CG Leadership Models and Steering Committee

CGs typically have two co-leaders with staggered terms. Some groups have alternative leadership models, the most common of which are three leads (outgoing, current, incoming) and a single lead with a steering committee.

In addition, some CGs may have a steering committee that provides a sounding board and advisory team for the CG leaders. Steering committee members may take on different roles in support of the community group (e.g., communications, event planning, online discussion forum management, etc.). CGs are responsible for setting their own steering committee terms and governance.

CGs that do not have steering committees but wish to form one may do so in consultation with EDUCAUSE staff. Steering committee members and terms must be communicated with EDUCAUSE staff; this information will be added to the EDUCAUSE Profile system so that a steering committee email list can be created, and roster web pages can be developed and linked to from the CG web page. Adding members means they can be recognized via their individual profile and awarded microcredentials annually.



Building and Managing Your Community Group Web Page

Each CG has an individual web page, which includes:

  • A brief description of your community group
  • Information about the CG leaders
  • Archives of past discussions
  • Additional resources such as links to EDUCAUSE Library resources in the topic area, the CG steering committee roster, CG web pages, and external resources (e.g., Slack, etc.).

EDUCAUSE staff maintain the CG web pages and should be contacted to make any changes.

In addition, CGs may choose to create a Google Sites page for their group. EDUCAUSE offers these to CGs upon request, available at: Edits are done by CG leaders or assigned community members. Contact EDUCAUSE staff for more information.



Ways to Communicate and Engage with Your Participants

All CG participants communicate via an unmoderated discussion forum; however, many groups also provide additional communication, networking, and learning opportunities.

  • Online Discussion Forums: Post CG topic-related news, issues, policies, practices, questions, and solutions within your unique discussion forum. (Note: Some groups also use Slack to supplement communication. Groups with a Slack will note that on their home page and include information on how to join.)

    To post a question, share an idea, or respond to an online discussion, you can:

    • Send an email to the list.
    • Respond to an individual directly or to all participants by replying to the community group's email address.
  • Webinars: Many CGs offer webinars where participants and invited speakers share in-depth information on relevant and timely issues and trends.
  • In-Person and Virtual Meetups: CG participants meet annually at in-person events during conferences or at virtual meetups using web conferencing, calls, or other collaboration tools. These sessions range from informal round-robin sessions to more in-depth discussions about a specific topic or issue.
  • Content Development: CG participants can publish original content in their topic areas, ranging from curated online resources to white papers.
  • CG Peer Mentoring Program: The CG Peer Mentoring Program takes advantage of what the CGs already offer—engaging, learning, sharing, and networking with colleagues in a defined topic area—and brings it into a one-on-one setting with a fellow CG peer to achieve defined goals. The Peer Mentoring Program focuses on professional growth and/or skill development.

CGs use a variety of tools and venues to meet and communicate with its subscribers, including:

  • EDUCAUSE Online Discussion Forum (the LISTSERV that is unique to your community group)
  • Zoom Video Conferencing (supported by EDUCAUSE; recording available as requested, and archives may be posted in the EDUCAUSE library)
  • Conference Call Phone Lines (supported by EDUCAUSE; recording available)
  • Adobe Connect Webinar Tool (supported by EDUCAUSE; recording available as requested, and archives may be posted in the EDUCAUSE library)

When using EDUCAUSE-supported resources, EDUCAUSE staff may be available to help organize, run, and support the CG meeting. Use of these resources should be calendared in advance to avoid conflicts with other CGs.

CGs may opt to use tools outside of EDUCAUSE, but please note that they are not supported by EDUCAUSE. Contact us for more information.



Subscriber Statistics

To better understand participant activity and assist planning, CG leaders can view their list's subscriber count on the LISTSERV archive index page. CG leaders can contact us by email to request additional CG subscriber statistics.