On 3 March 2022, CSCCE Director Lou Woodley gave an invited talk for the Code for Science & Society Digital Infrastructure Incubator about best practices when engaging volunteer labor. Her 60-minute session included opportunities for participants to reflect on their own work with community volunteers, and how they might refine the support they offer to them in the future.
With so many community managers in STEM looking to mobilize community members in a volunteer capacity, we thought we’d share an overview of Lou’s “5 guiding questions” for supporting unpaid contributions.
This week we released the first CSCCE Community Manager Case Study! Every Tuesday this Spring you can expect a new case study to drop; browse the collection and download your own copy of each one from our dedicated resource page.
What is a Community Manager Case Study?
These 2-page interviews ask scientific community managers a series of questions about their role, including day-to-day tasks, highlights and challenges, and how they view the importance of community building in STEM. They are very similar in structure to a series of interviews we conducted in 2016, when STEM community managers were relatively unknown, and are intended to showcase what it means to convene communities in a variety of scientific settings.
On each case study you’ll also find a unique skills wheel signature for the community manager featured, which assesses how frequently they used 45 skills in 5 core competencies over the last 12 months. You can find out more about the CSCCE Skills Wheel, created by the C3 project team of the CEFP 2017 cohort in our 2021 guidebook.
The next CSCCE community call will take place on 16 March at 11am EDT / 3pm UTC (add to your calendar: Google | iCal). We’ll be talking about what it looks like to be a community manager in a variety of settings; from scientific societies to research collaborations and everything in between.
We’ll also be talking about our newest resource, a series of community manager case studies that we’ll be releasing every Tuesday this Spring, starting on 9 March. And, we’ll hear from the C3 project team from CEFP 2017 as we kick off a new community working group building on their research.
This week we welcomed a new full time staff member to the CSCCE team: Alice Martinic. Alice joins our growing training team, headed up by Director of Learning, Camille Santistevan, and will be involved in administering and delivering our professional development courses.
She’ll work with Camille, and Founder and Director Lou Woodley, as we build out several new courses coming later this year. Read on to find out more about Alice’s background in learning management and connection to the STEM ecosystem.
Before joining the CSCCE team, Alice was Associate Director of New Mexico State University’s Teaching Academy. In that role, she oversaw university-wide programming to support instructors as they developed engaging and inclusive lessons and labs. Initially, her work focused on in-person classes, but with the pandemic-induced pivot to online learning, Alice created trainings tailored to the virtual space.
February’s community call focused on how scaffolding influences engagement and inclusion in communities. The call coincided with the release of the third installment of The CSCCE Community Participation Model guidebook, which described what scaffolding is and why it matters. And, as a gesture of gratitude and love to our community members in Valentine’s week, we also updated a number of our CC BY licensed scaffolding PDFs and created easily-adapted Google doc versions to support the creation of scaffolding across the STEM ecosystem.
We spent time on the call discussing and exploring these resources and the challenges community managers face when trying to create and/or socialize scaffolding in their communities, as well as coworking to create, adapt, and update materials. In this post, we recap some of the key points that came up during our community conversation.
Today we released the third part in our series of guidebooks that explore CSCCE’s Community Participation Model. It focuses on scaffolding – the items that complement programming to lower barriers to participation and support multiple modes of member engagement in a community.
Our February call will focus on scaffolding — onboarding documentation, how-to manuals, and tip sheets that keep everyone within an organization or community on the same page.
We’re currently finalizing a guidebook that lays out the role of scaffolding in STEM communities, and we’re excited to give you a sneak peak of the guidebook’s core concepts. This month’s call will also include time for participants to create or update their own scaffolding – either by adapting CSCCE’s CC-BY-licensed scaffolding templates or building and/or sharing their own organization’s documents.
Our January call focused on project management tools and how they can streamline collaborations and improve efficiency. This post includes a summary of the call, as well as video clips of presentations from Lou Woodley (CSCCE; describing the tool Trello), Alycia Crall (the Carpentries; describing Asana), Anne Heberger Marino (Lean-To Collaborations, describing Mural), Ellen Dow (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, describing Todoist).
Today is Community Manager Advancement Day (CMAD), and this year the focus is on professional development for community managers!
What is CMAD?
If this is the first you’re hearing about the annual celebration of community managers, a little background. CMAD was created in 2010 by Jeremiah Owyang, a technology professional specializing in the intersection of technology and human behavior. Community members are encouraged to send messages of thanks to their community manager (using the hashtags #CMAD and #CMGR), and organizations that support community managers often host events or release resources to mark the occasion and explore the year’s theme (for example, last year we hosted a community call on 2021’s CMAD theme of resilience).
In 2016, we conducted a series of 10 interviews with community managers working in STEM. We asked them a series of questions with a view to sharing what their roles looked like and highlighting the work as an important piece of human infrastructure for effective collaboration.
More than five years later, after growing a community of practice involving more than 350 members, we’re revisiting the project. Our goal is to build a collection of case studies so that new and aspiring community managers can get an idea of what their role is or will be, and for hiring managers to understand what to look for in new hires.
We’re also curious about how community roles vary in different organizational settings. How does community management look in a professional society vs. higher education, for example? How do online communities compare to in-person ones, and how is that changing during the COVID-19 pandemic? We hope to explore these topics and more on the CSCCE blog as the project develops.
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