Communities of Practice
Across the University, numerous organized groups are dedicated to sharing technical information and best practices in the technology industry. These groups collaborate regularly and focus on areas related to infrastructure, information security, educational technology, collaboration tools, and more.
Directory of Active Communities of Practice
This community is open to all cloud-facing Northwestern community members, including staff, researchers, and students. It is an open forum to discuss public cloud technology (Amazon Web Services (AWS), Azure, and Google Cloud primarily) and includes regular meetups and training opportunities. To learn more, contact Matthew Rich, cloud computing architect.
This community focuses on managing CrowdStrike Falcon, Northwestern’s next-generation antimalware platform for University-managed devices. Members can collaborate on topics such as Falcon sensor installation; policy configuration; deployment, detection, and incident triage; and more. To learn more, contact the Information Security Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
EdTech Teaching Fellows
EdTech Fellows is a collaborative group of like-minded instructors dedicated to exploring innovative teaching. Throughout the year, Fellows work with a partner from Northwestern IT’s Teaching and Learning Technologies team to tackle a specific teaching hurdle. At the end of the program, participants share their progress with other members in a supportive community. To learn more, contact Anna Luce, senior learning engineer, or read this article.
This community focuses on the Microsoft 365 environment and all its products (excluding Power BI). Within the community, there are separate channels for OneDrive, SharePoint, Teams, Exchange/Outlook, Add-ins, Bookings, and Power Automate. To learn more, contact David Christensen, senior systems engineer, or another member of the Collaboration Services team.
This community focuses on anything Splunk-related, such as capturing, indexing, searching, and aggregating event data. To learn more, contact Frank Wayne, senior systems engineer, or another member of the Collaboration Services team.
This community convenes users of the TalkDesk contact/call center application for discussion and community support. Members can collaborate on topics related to the application’s advanced features, PCI-compliant credit or debit card processing, detailed reporting and analytics, custom scheduling, and more. To learn more, contact Kathi Dal Santo, senior network and communication services specialist.
This community focuses on the management of TenableOne, Northwestern’s vulnerability management platform for University-managed devices. Members can collaborate on topics such as Tenable agent installation, vulnerability scanning, reporting, and more. To learn more, contact the Information Security Office at email@example.com.
The Web Steering Committee is a forum for proactively communicating key web developments and trends. Members examine strategies for making the most effective use of the web, focusing on innovation and user satisfaction. The committee encourages contributing units (departments, colleges, and programs) to maintain accurate, timely, and effective sites that conform to usability, security, privacy, and accessibility guidelines. Topics covered include content strategy, information architecture, mobile and device trends, search engine optimization, usability testing, web accessibility, and web design. To learn more, contact Anastasia Masurat, director of digital strategy.
Creating a Community
Creating and building a community is not formulaic; it is an organic process unique to each group. Because of this, Northwestern does not have a single method for creating a community.
Generally, each community needs a primary and secondary community organizer to manage scheduling and coordinate content for the community to discuss. These organizers are also points of contact for answering questions or suggesting discussion topics. In the beginning, it is imperative to find common ground among members for everyone to feel connected and see the value of sharing insights, stories, and techniques. Seeing that other individuals face similar problems, share a passion for the same topics, or have data, tools, and approaches to contribute enables valuable insights and learning.
Members of the University community interested in creating a Community of Practice can contact the IT Service Desk at firstname.lastname@example.org and request a consultation.