Communities are not made up of multiple copies of the same, identical person. They are filled with unique individuals, each with their own goals, interests, knowledge, and skills. Members also each have their own needs, which must be met in order for them to be able to actively participate. These can include accessibility requirements, support with learning how to navigate unfamiliar technology, or the need for power imbalances to be addressed to create psychological safety. As community managers, we’re constantly paying attention to our members’ needs, learning how better to meet them, and improving as we do. Understanding and meeting member needs is central to how we teach STEM community management in our foundational course, Scientific Community Engagement Fundamentals, the ninth session of which wraps up this week.
This theme has also come up for us in several additional ways this month:
PLUS: We’re re-sharing three resources from the archives that outline some key frameworks to support conversations about how community managers can design multiple pathways for member participation
Do let us know if you find these resources helpful – you are always welcome to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions, feedback, or anecdotes about how you’re using our frameworks.
Registration open for Scientific Community Engagement Fundamentals
You can now register for the Spring 2023 cohort of our foundational community management training, which begins on 12 May and runs on Tuesdays and Fridays through 30 June. Scientific Community Engagement Fundamentals is an 8-week all virtual experience designed with new and experienced community managers in mind. It introduces core frameworks, concepts, and vocabulary in community management tailored to the STEM ecosystem. Registration is limited to 20 participants. More information about the course structure and topics covered can be found on our website.
The CSCCE Community Participation Model (CPM) describes four modes of member engagement that can occur within a community – CONVEY/CONSUME, CONTRIBUTE, COLLABORATE, and CO-CREATE – and one that can occur outside of it: CHAMPION. This guidebook walks through how the model can be used to guide multi-modal community programming.
Building on the CPM, in this guidebook we focus on different types of scaffolding that help lower barriers to participation for community members. Several examples of scaffolding are available for download and reuse from our website.
Our PACT framework outlines the key elements to consider when planning a virtual meeting or event: P for purpose, A for attendees, C for community management, and T for tech tools. The guidebook is part one of a four-part virtual events resource, which includes a “recipe book” of some of the event formats used by our members.
This month, we delivered a workshop for rOpenSci based around our “making a PACT” framework for more engaging meetings and events. This blog post outlines the preparation we did to make the workshop format accessible to participants using screen readers.
February community call recap – Creating accessible community spaces online
This month our community call focused on the accessibility of community resources and programming – emphasizing practical actions we can all take to support the participation of members with disabilities. In this blog post, we share an overview of the call, including a suite of resources and recordings of our presenters: Sara Kobilka (co-creator of the Digital Engagement Accessibility Toolkit) and Rebecca Carpenter (Virtual Academic Community Manager of the Deaf STEM Community Alliance at Rochester Institute of Technology).
March’s Community Call – Oblique thinking for STEM community managers
Do you need some inspiration to approach sticky challenges with fresh perspective? Join us on 15 March at 11am EDT / 3pm UTC when community of practice member Beth Duckles will facilitate an Oblique Thinking activity to help us all work together on finding solutions to your work-related challenges. You can expect a combination of main room discussion and breakout sessions as we work through a carefully scaffolded and unique activity. We’ll be asking you to share your varied skills, including those you might not flex so often in the workplace, and collaborate with other members of the community to solve common challenges in STEM community management. Expect to leave feeling energized – and having built deeper connections to others!
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