As part of the latest cycle of grants under the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI)’s Essential Open Source Software for Science program, CSCCE will be working with the software nonprofit Bioconductor as they develop a new training program and community platform for their users.
Bioconductor is built on the R programming language, and is an open source platform for the statistical analysis of genomic datasets.
This month we spent our community call brainstorming ideas for CSCCE programming that meets the needs of scientific community managers who are facilitating online meetings, events, and conferences. We used Padlet boards to collect ideas, and these boards will remain open for a couple more weeks for any community members who were unable to join the call (read on for more information).
We’re delighted to announce that CSCCE has received a $125k grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to continue our work supporting the transition to online collaboration that’s been accelerated due to the global pandemic.
In this post, we outline what we plan to deliver thanks to this grant – and we indicate the emerging opportunities to participate or collaborate with CSCCE that will result.
Supporting a rapid shift in norms
The ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic has forced a sudden transition to online meetings and online work spaces for which many scientific organizations and communities were painfully under-prepared. Although discussions were underway in many organizations to improve access to conferences and events by offering virtual options, few had begun to implement them at scale. As a result, many organizations are now frantically trying to adapt, while lacking the in-house expertise, access to reliable information, and peer support necessary for staff to succeed.
This Fall we launched the first in a new series of CSCCE online training modules. In this blog post, we explain the courses and when they’ll be offered again, who we hope will take them, and how they impact our other programming, including a potential CEFP2021 cohort. If you have any questions about anything in this post, please reach out to us: firstname.lastname@example.org.
What are CSCCE online modular trainings?
Our online modular trainings distill years of experience and expertise in building successful communities in STEM into courses that fit into your busy schedule. Each training runs for six weeks, and involves two live sessions a week (totaling 2.5 hours) along with around 90 minutes of homework to complete each week.
The recent shift to remote work, virtual meetings and events, and convening and connecting communities predominantly online has impacted how we all work, and in many cases required us to acquire new skills. Here at CSCCE, we’ve created programming and resources to support you throughout that shift, and now we invite you to shape what comes next.
In this month’s community call, we’d like to explore with you the next stage of our programming around the transition online – with the intention to discuss, develop and deliver resources together into 2021. Join us on Wednesday, 18 November at 7pm UTC / 2pm US EST to join the conversation, inform the resources we’ll develop, and shape the activities we’ll host over the next few months.
Many communities rely on online platforms and communication tools to stay connected and to host events. On this page we have highlighted several blog posts about building and sustaining communities online. We have also produced a guidebook, accompanying appendix, and other resources for how to get started building an engaging and inclusive community on Slack. We are working on additional resources about hosting successful virtual events.
This appendix contains several resources to accompany our guidebook. It includes a Slack intentions worksheet, information about the "Invite bot," an example of a new member survey, an example of a weekly newsletter, and a pre-launch checklist.
CSCCE is primarily concerned with the role of community engagement management within scientific teams, groups and communities – the human infrastructure for collaboration. Our research work focuses on better characterizing this role and its impacts.
We explore these topics via grant-funded research, as well as through the project teams of our Community Engagement Fellowship Program and via our Visiting Scholars Program.
The intention of our research work is to provide practically applicable knowledge that can assist community managers, their organizations, funders, evaluators and others interested in this emerging role.
If you would like to discuss our ongoing research, please email email@example.com.
Scientific community engagement manager skill sets
Ambassadors and Advocates in scientific community programs
What do ambassador programs look like?
What motivates ambassadors to contribute to their communities?
A study of online scientific and scholarly communities for broadening participation in STEM
In collaboration with Dr Lisa Elliot at Rochester Institute of Technology, CSCCE’s director Lou Woodley is working to answer three research questions about online communities for broadening participation in STEM.
NSF INCLUDES EAGER – award number #1834978 This project is conducting exploratory research about two currently existing online scientific and scholarly communities (OSSCs), each of which was established to broaden participation in STEM in identified target communities: (a) the NSF INCLUDES Open Forum (NSF-1748345); and (b) the Deaf STEM Community Alliance’s Deaf and Hard of Hearing Virtual Academic Community (NSF-1127955).
The goals of the proposed study are: 1) to apply the information systems theory of the life cycle of online communities and the theory of social capital to understand the dynamics of two NSF-sponsored OSSCs that are focused on broadening participation in STEM; 2) to strengthen NSF INCLUDES Network activities with best practices and lessons learned from the project.
The project is conducting comparative analyses of the OSSCs: 1) to determine life-cycle stages of the OSSCs; 2) to examine leadership and engagement activities of community engagement managers in each community and how they evolve over time; and 3) to explore the perceptions of community members.
WhY IS this OF INTEREST to SCIENTIFIC Community managers?
Communities often progress along a lifecycle from inception to maturity and possibly then decline or fragment into new communities. Little has been done to look at how the lifecycle maps to online communities of practice in science and specifically with communities focused on broadening participation – which is what the first part of this study is looking at.
Community managers help to steward their communities through the different stages of the lifecycle and their roles and activities change as a result. Part two of the study is looking at how the four community managers involved in the study use their skills over time.
Finally, online communities can be thought of as places where social capital is distributed and accumulated. This study seeks to explore what social capital looks like in the context of the two communities of practice and what role community managers may be playing in its distribution.
Netweaving is a term used in STEM education for the brokering of relationships between stakeholders and has many similarities to community management. Lou Woodley participated in a research study led by the Netweaver Network in 2019. Here’s a description of the study from their website:
“During the last half of 2019, Network of STEM Education Centers (NSEC) convened three 90-min network learning dialogues with four leading experts in network facilitation, systems change, and STEM education reform (Julie Risien, Lou Woodley, Ann Austin and Emily Miller). Our focus was how to design, create, facilitate, and manage transformative STEM learning networks. The topics were:
– Maintaining Connection for Transformation – Transformative Assessment – Transformative Capacity Building
These dialogues are being analyzed in conjunction with a parallel set of discussions among social-ecological netweavers to advance netweaving practice and identify next steps…We are analyzing the results of these dialogues in order to identify the insights and identify possible next steps to support a STEM netweaving community of practice.”
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