How does CSCCE online training impact community managers and their organizations? Read our report to find out!

Thanks to funding from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, we recently completed a medium-term evaluation of our foundational training course, Scientific Community Engagement Fundamentals (CEF). We’ve just published a report that summarizes the results of this work, which shows impact across three levels of scale – the individual, their community/organization, and the wider STEM ecosystem.  

In this blog post, we’ll recap some of the rationale for the report and a high level overview of our findings. Subsequent posts will share more about our user-centered design approach to creating professional training courses, what we learned about the impact of CEF at each level, and how this work will impact our ongoing training offerings. 

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April Community Call Recap – The impact of short-form professional development training in STEM

At this month’s community call, we were talking about the impact of short-form professional development trainings – focusing not only on how individuals use what they learned during a training in their day to day work, but also considering how such trainings may result in changes at the level of the STEM ecosystem by affecting common practices and connecting learners across projects and organizations.

The call included an overview of the Bicycle Principles, a framework for designing and evaluation inclusive and engaging trainings, as well as presentations about two different methods for gathering and analyzing impact. 

In this blog post, you’ll find recordings of the three presentations from the call, as well as a brief summary of what each talk focused on. Do join us for our call next month, Wednesday 29 May at 12pm EDT / 4pm UTC, when we’ll be taking a closer look at the application and utility of community playbooks (a.k.a. Collaboration guides, lab handbooks, and more). Add to calendar

Three bicycles stand on a set of concrete steps, with long grass on either side. The bicycle in front is pale blue with white wheels, the one behind is white with black wheels, and the one in back is black with yellow wheels.
What do bicycles have to do with short-form training? Read on to find out! Photo by Solé Bicycles on Unsplash
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Need a new way to talk about community management? The second CSCCE concept booklet describes “the garden metaphor”

Back in November, we shared our first “concept booklet” – a collection of essays and reflection questions that used the metaphor of a house party to discuss challenges and opportunities in STEM community management. This month, we’ve been sharing another metaphor – the garden! 

Each metaphor lends itself to exploring different concepts – the house party was great for thinking about scaffolding, and the garden is particularly “fruitful” when considering who your members are and how they interact with each other. And, as we discussed on our March community call, these two metaphors may resonate differently with you and how you think about your work. 

We’ve compiled all of our horticultural posts into our second “CSCCE concept booklet” which you can download for free, refer to as needed, and easily cite! 

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New CSCCE concept booklet explores the house party metaphor for community engagement

Over the last few weeks, we’ve been sharing blog posts that use the metaphor of a house party to discuss various aspects of community management. And last week, at our monthly community call, we scaffolded a discussion of the metaphor, which thanks to the enthusiastic participation of our members led us all to think about community management in new and creative directions. 

Now, we’ve compiled these ideas and reflections into a “CSCCE concept booklet” which you can download for free, refer to as needed, and easily cite! 

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New CSCCE tip sheet highlights 12 guiding questions to improve the accessibility of your next virtual event

The COVID-19 pandemic transformed virtual events. Connecting online suddenly became the only way to convene groups large and small, for short meetings or multi-day conferences, and community managers often found themselves developing new meeting formats or learning to use new platforms and tools. 

Fast forward to June 2023, and a lot has changed. Platforms have evolved (and sometimes dissolved), event organizers have mastered their own suites of engagement tools, and, as participants, we’re more seasoned (although “you’re on mute!” remains a frequent refrain in Zoom meetings!). 

We’ve also gained a much deeper appreciation for what it means to host a truly accessible online event. While online events opened up spaces to many people who’d previously been excluded (e.g., through reduced registration, travel, or childcare costs), for others, it made it even harder to participate. 

In a new resource we’ve been working on with community members Rebecca Carpenter, Sara Kobillka, Casey Wright, Yanina Bellini Saibene, and Hao Ye, we offer 12 guiding questions to help you think about the ways that you could improve the accessibility of your community events. And in this blog post, we share our three top tips. 

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Re-introducing the CSCCE blog – An orientation to what’s here and how you can contribute!

CSCCE’s blog is a wealth of information on scientific community management. But, we realized, for many folks new to CSCCE, that information is somewhat buried in the archives. So, this week we decided to take a look back* at some of the blog posts we’ve** shared over the years, curating them so that you can easily find certain topics or collections, and invite you to add your thoughts as a guest blogger. 

A photo of dozens of books open to random pages. Some of them overlap.
Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash
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August’s community call recap: Reflecting on the role of the community manager in STEM

This year we’ve been releasing community manager case studies: two-page interviews, each describing one of 25 community managers from across the STEM ecosystem. On this month’s community call, we shared some of the observations we’ve made as we’ve compared these case studies.

Next month we plan to publish a report that will describe the details of our analysis and make several recommendations for what’s needed to support the emerging community management profession, setting community managers, their communities, and their covening organizations up for success.

During the call, we also heard from two of the community managers who took part in the project, Connie Clare (Research Data Alliance) and Nathaniel Gore (PeerJ), and invited reflections and feedback from all of the participants on the call. We’re so grateful to everyone who came and shared their frank perspectives, and we plan on continuing the conversation on a future call later this year. Read on for a recap of the discussion, and watch the presentation portion of the call in the embedded video clips. 

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Champions programs tip sheets all now available!

Today we’re releasing the remaining five tip sheets in a nine-part series on launching and running community champions programs. These publications are an output of the CSCCE community champions programs working group, and were co-created with members of that working group in writing sprints during the Spring of 2022. 

In this blog post, we revisit the first four tip sheets in the series as we summarize the whole collection, essential reading for anyone interested in mobilizing emerging leaders in their community. 

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July’s community call: The evolving landscape of STEM community manager roles – findings from the CSCCE community manager case studies

POSTPONED UNTIL 17 AUGUST 2022

In this month’s call, CSCCE’s Lou Woodley, Katie Pratt, and Saima Sidik will be sharing what we’ve learned from interviewing 25 members of our community of practice about their work and the resultant case studies that we’ve been publishing over the past few months. We’re currently working on a report summarizing our findings, which we’ll preview on the call, as well as hold space for discussion about where we go from here. 

We hope you’ll join us on Wednesday 20 July 17 August at 3pm UTC / 11am EDT! Click here to join the Zoom call, or add to your Google or Outlook 365 calendar.

July’s community call will focus on community manager roles: Their commonalities and differences across the STEM ecosystem. Image credit: CSCCE
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New section of the CSCCE glossary focuses on virtual events

One of the many resources we curate here on the CSCCE website is a glossary of terms related to community management in STEM. We’ve just added another 60 terms, all related to running virtual events! 

This list of new glossary terms was co-created with members of our community of practice during our May 2022 community call. We’ve added them to our searchable glossary, and you can also download a PDF of the collection from Zenodo. 

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