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Northwestern University

Northwestern University

NIST Standards Services Group Education Challenge Grant Awardee (2012)

The Northwestern University Center for Technology and Innovation Management (CTIM) developed, tested, and refined various instructional materials, including course modules, exercises, simulations, and model syllabi to support the introduction of standards and standardization into undergraduate and graduate business and engineering curriculum. 

Standards in Context Module

Teaching this module can take two to three 90-minute class sessions, depending on the nature and extent of the discussion. Depending on course context and the knowledge level of students, slides may be modified or omitted. The module is intended to fit into a range of courses, but it has a slant toward innovation and management. It is also presented from a corporate perspective more than a policy or societal one. Healthcare and smart grid are used as examples. Standards-specific readings and some broader readings are suggested with summaries, links to internet sources, and discussion guidance. The module incorporates a negotiation exercise, which is available below.

A PowerPoint presentation with notes is available. Additional slides for use after the negotiation exercise are available upon request (omitted here so as not to spoil the exercise for students accessing the site and also doing the exercise in class.)

NUZIP Standards Negotiation Exercises (2 versions)

This role playing exercise was developed by Northwestern University CTIM to accompany the Standards in Context course module. The module includes suggestions for adapting the exercise for different course settings, but it can also be used independently. It is intended to help users recognize the complexity of standards negotiation with emphasis on strategic standards implication and the challenges associated with uncertain technology change requiring guiding anticipatory standards. 

Two versions of the exercise are available. Only the introductions are posted as students may access this site and also work through the exercise in class. Additional information is available for each version at no charge to faculty and trainers. Contact Jeffrey Strauss:  j-strauss [at] (j-strauss[at]northwestern[dot]edu).

final summary paper for this award is available. 

Additionally, a paper was published about this award in the SES Journal and is available here: Putting Standards in Context, Jeffrey Strauss, Northwestern University (Nov/Dec 2015). 


The Northwestern University contact is Jeffrey Strauss, j-strauss [at] (j-strauss[at]kellogg[dot]northwestern[dot]edu)


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This work was performed under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Institute of Standards and Technology. The statements, findings, conclusions, and recommendations are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Institute of Standards and Technology or the U.S. Department of Commerce.



  • NIST Standards Coordination Office Curricula Development Cooperative Agreement Program
Created December 7, 2017, Updated July 20, 2023