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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May’s Community Call: Creating Community Playbooks – a.k.a. Collaboration Guides, Team Handbooks, and more!

Come to this month’s CSCCE community call to find out more about creating a playbook for your community, team, collaboration, or champions program! Playbooks (which are often given various different names) are written hubs that keep your community members, community champions, or community team on the same page by making visible the who, what, why, when, where, and how of your shared work together.

On this month’s call, we’ll give a brief overview of what a community playbook is, why you should have one, and what playbooks look like in a range of STEM contexts. Our invited speakers all recently took our training course, Creating Community Playbooks (PBK), and will be sharing the playbook they created as well as how it’s making a difference in their communities. 

This call may be of particular interest to you if: 

  • You’re not sure what a playbook is, or if making one is really necessary in your specific situation
  • You’re considering joining the next cohort of PBK (which starts in July!)
  • You’d like to see some examples of playbooks in action in a range of contexts – including online collaborations, open-source software projects, and national laboratories/core facilities
  • You’re a member of the CSCCE community of practice (CoP) and would like to meet other members
  • You aren’t yet a member of the CSCCE CoP, but are considering joining
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More than 300 learners have graduated from Scientific Community Engagement Fundamentals!

This month we celebrated a very exciting milestone – more than 300 STEM community managers (305, to be exact!) have now successfully completed our foundational training in community management, Scientific Community Engagement Fundamentals (CEF).

Congratulations to all of our graduates – many of whom are featured on this page of our website – and if you’re interested in taking part in the course yourself, registration is open for our fall 2024 cohort (registration deadline: 23 August). But hurry! It’s more than half full already. 

“The course provides essential information to support community work whether you are just beginning or seeking to expand your community engagement activities.  It provides resources to help you develop a strategy and tools to support implementation of your ideas.  This course demystifies many aspects of community engagement and helps to ensure your community is built to last.”

CEF24W participant
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April’s Community Call: Evaluating the impact of short-form training in the STEM ecosystem

On our April Community Call, we’ll be focusing on how to evaluate the impact of professional development trainings on individual participants, their organizations, and the STEM ecosystem as a whole.

Evaluation is something that we’ve been doing more and more at CSCCE in our client work – capturing the value created in various community programs and proposing improvements for future interactions. We’re especially interested in programs that support group-based learning in some way such as those that provide training and/or mentorship for community champions. 

Over the last few months, thanks to funding from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, we’ve been turning the spotlight back on one of our own learning activities, by researching the impact of our foundational training course in community management, Scientific Community Engagement Fundamentals (CEF). At the same time, Open Life Science (OLS) have been conducting an evaluation of their Open Seeds cohort-based training and mentorship program. These evaluations have taken place on the backdrop of an ongoing conversation about how to measure the impact of short-form trainings in the life sciences in general, thanks to the work of Jason Williams and Rochelle Trachtenberg. 

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Evaluation project underway to assess the impact of CSCCE’s foundational training, Scientific Community Engagement Fundamentals

At CSCCE, one of the ways we support scientific community managers is through professional development training courses and workshops. Our 8-week online course Scientific Community Engagement Fundamentals (CEF) is our longest-running training option, and has reached more than 250 community managers over the past three years across a total of 15 cohorts (with another currently in session). 

Two of these CEF cohorts were private offerings for the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), and late last year they asked if we could assess the mid- to long-term impact of CEF training on the individuals that took the course. CZI, like us, were particularly curious about the impacts of the course on the learners  – as well as the wider impacts on their organizations and communities, and beyond in the STEM ecosystem more generally. And so, in December 2023 we surveyed graduates from 12 general registration CEF cohorts, 2 CZI cohorts, and a cohort that ran in an Australia-friendly time zone

In this blog post, we share a little more about what we’re hoping to learn as we start analyzing the data, as well as how we’ll be sharing the outcomes of this study in a couple of months’ time. If you have any questions, or you’re interested in engaging us as consultants on your own evaluation program, please reach out to info@cscce.org

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CSCCE Training Update – General registration courses and Mini-workshops!

General registration is now open for Scientific Community Engagement Fundamentals (CEF24W), Creating Community Playbooks (PBK24W), AND some of CSCCE’s new Mini-workshops! In this blog post, we highlight some key dates and deadlines, as well as answer some questions you might have about your participation (see the FAQ section at the end). 

Please note that priority access to PBK24W and all CSCCE Mini-workshops is given to participants in our Community Manager Certification Program. This means that there are a limited number of spots available (we cap participation at 25). So, if you’re interested in taking any of these trainings, don’t delay in signing up! 

If after reading this post you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to reach out to training@cscce.org and a member of our training team will get back to you ASAP. 

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Join us for CEF23F! Head into the new “school” year with some updates to our foundational training course

Today we opened general registration for the next offering of Scientific Community Engagement Fundamentals (CEF), our foundational course on community management in STEM. This course is relevant to anyone convening communities in the STEM ecosystem, whether new to the work or more experienced.

Sign up by 4 August and enjoy a 25% early bird registration discount (use the code EARLYCEF23F at checkout)!!

CEF23F will run on Tuesdays and Fridays starting on 8 September and ending on 27 October. More information about the course can be found here

If you have any questions about CSCCE’s professional development training courses – including about information in this post – please email training@cscce.org

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Preparing for large, multi-stakeholder collaborations – a two-part CSCCE workshop

In May 2023, CSCCE’s Director, Lou Woodley, and Director of Learning, Camille Santistevan, ran a two-part workshop as part of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI)’s Central Science Training Series. The series included training and discussion on topics related to leadership, career development, science communication, and more, with a range of experts sharing their knowledge and experiences. 

The workshops Lou and Camille developed, which ran for 2 hours each on 10 and 24 May, focused on preparing for large, multi-stakeholder collaborations, with a particular focus on the beginnings of projects as a crucial time for establishing collaborative relationships, understanding expectations, and defining working norms. 

In this blog post, we share a little more about the workshops. If you’d be interested in taking these workshops as an individual, or contracting with us to offer them in your organization, please let us know by emailing training@cscce.org

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CSCCE offers a private CEF cohort “in Australia!”

Earlier this year, we had the pleasure of delivering a private cohort of our foundational training for STEM community managers, Scientific Community Engagement Fundamentals (CEF), in collaboration with the Australian Biocommons.

This was the second private  CEF cohort we’ve offered, having run one for the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative’s Essential Open Source Software program last Summer (and a second CZI cohort will start in early July). CEF cohorts are always unique, and custom cohorts are particularly engaging, allowing colleagues and collaborators to explore concepts in community management, and their own shared goals and challenges, together. 

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