Guidelines for Leaders

Useful resources:

Community group leaders are course participants who facilitate learning and idea exchange among small groups of students. You can facilitate:

  • a local group whose members meet face-to-face;
  • an interest group whose members share an interest in a particular topic or come from a particular region (e.g., community gardening, civic ecology in southern Africa); or
  • a bilingual group whose members share a language other than English.

By becoming a community group leader, you will enhance the learning experience for members of your group and for yourself. We will issue a Cornell community leader certificate (PDF) to community leaders who lead groups that are active throughout the course.

Congratulations if you have decided to lead a Civic Ecology MOOC community group! Your next steps:

  • You can create a community group by submitting an online form till Monday, Sept 12th, 2016 [no longer available].
  • Create a “closed” Facebook group (or another social media group on WeChat, Telegram, etc.), and email the link to us ( We’ll post your link so others can join.
  • Group links will be posted here for any course participants to join your group (we can email them to you too):
  • Recruit group members:

Ideas for leading a community group:

  • Invite people to join our MOOC ( and your community group. Disseminate the flyer (PDF file).
  • Invite people to introduce themselves to other members of the community group.
  • Welcome new members and make them feel part of the group by replying to their introductions and other posts or inquiries.
  • Organize weekly virtual meetings, perhaps using chat or video conferencing.
  • Share relevant resources, ideas, and links.
  • If you lead a local group, arrange face-to-face meetings with participants and facilitate discussions of local issues relevant to the course content.
  • If you lead an interest group, pose discuss questions about course topics related to your group’s common interest on your group’s Facebook or other social media.
  • Encourage people to share relevant resources and experiences.
  • If you lead a bilingual group, help participants understand MOOC assignments in their language, as well as the main terminology and main ideas of this course.