Since the global pivot to online working and convening, we’ve been working to create resources that help community managers and facilitators make their virtual meetings and events more engaging. The first two parts of our guide to facilitating engaging virtual events, a recipe book of event formats and a curated selection of resources are already helping thousands of people to thrive online.
In the newest section of the guide, selecting and testing online tools, we offer a framework to guide how you decide what online tool(s) to use. You can download this section, as well as the earlier two sections, for free.
This week we published two new free resources to help you with planning and delivering successful virtual meetings and events: a DEI tip sheet and the next part of our Virtual Events Guidebook. In this post, we tell you a little more about how these resources came to be, and ask you what you’d like to co-create with us next year.
DEI Tip Sheet: Captioning, subtitles, and transcription for virtual meetings and events
One of our recent Community Tools Trials focused on how to caption online events, making them more accessible to participants with hearing impairments, varying language fluency, or commitments that require them to multi-task. We discussed a variety of use cases, including captioning live events without incurring major time or financial costs and how to edit transcripts when an AI didn’t understand jargon or a speakers’ accent. This hour-long session, involving several knowledgeable members of our community of practice, highlighted that there was no one, easy-to-use guide available to help community managers or meeting facilitators choose between the tools or methods currently available. And so we created one!
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.
In this post, jointly authored by Communications Director, Katie Pratt and Center Director, Lou Woodley, we take stock of our resource collection, which now comprises eight pages on our website and includes 28 free-to-download guidebooks, worksheets, and community profiles in our Zenodo community repository.
Today we’re launching the first outputs from a project that we’ve been working on this year to better characterize communities in science – and to support scientific community managers, their leadership, and funders to meaningfully compare some of the current activities taking place across the broad landscape of STEM community projects.
The CSCCE community profiles project has resulted in the creation of an initial collection of 13 community profiles – two page PDFs capturing core features of each community from staffing to programming and funding sources. We collected the data using a custom, detailed survey and then translated what we found to a standardized profile template, which was specifically created for this project. The resulting profiles, which incorporate CSCCE’s own frameworks for describing communities and community member engagement, allow easy comparison between different scientific communities.
In this post we introduce the rationale for the project and highlight the first 13 profiles. In Thursday’s post, we outline how the project was carried out.
With the COVID-19 pandemic came a global shift to remote working and virtual events. Because of this, over the last few months many members of the CSCCE community of practice have become experts in planning and facilitating a range of virtual event formats.
We wanted to celebrate this knowledge and make it more widely available, and so over the last few weeks we worked with several members of the community to consolidate our expertise into a freely-downloadable guidebook to virtual event formats.
CSCCE’s primary mission is to support and study the work of scientific community engagement managers – those professionals who build and nurture teams, networks and communities within science.
We do this through a variety of activities including our year-long fellowship program for existing scientific community-builders. This week, we expand our programming by launching a brand new community of practice (CoP) open to scientific community managers and those interested in this emerging role. Whether you’re new to community engagement or have many years or experience, whether you’re building, funding or evaluating communities in science, we welcome you to join and help to shape this new, supportive learning space.
Brit Myers is a Project Manager for the Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S. (ARCUS), a non-profit membership organization with the mission of facilitating cross-boundary Arctic knowledge, research, communication, and education. She works to enhance the ability of the highly distributed Arctic research community to connect with one another and work more effectively through collaborative research programs.
Last year I was invited by Dr. Luisa Cristini from the Alfred Wegener Institute to co-convene a session at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting. Luisa was interested in submitting a session proposal specifically focused on issues relevant to the work of scientific project managers – a job title she and I share. Hoping to attract a larger number of abstracts to the proposed AGU session, we also agreed to reach out to the AAAS CEFP community to see if our session topic might be similar enough to their interests to warrant collaboration. Luckily, CSCCE’s Lou Woodley and another group of #CEFP17 session conveners agreed to join us in our efforts!
However, as we drafted the combined AGU session description – and during a number of other conversations that followed – there was some genuine uncertainty about where the boundaries might stand between those focused on professional development from a “Project Manager” standpoint vs. that of a “Research Community Manager.” For anyone with a Project Management job title, it is hard to forget that Project Management is a well-established profession with an official Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) regulated through accreditation organizations like the Project Management Institute. Alternatively, the “Research Community Manager” is viewed by the new Center for Scientific Collaboration and Community Engagement as an “emerging profession,” distinct enough from both traditional project management and/or non-scientific online community management to justify the time and attention needed to professionalize and institutionalize the role.
“Use Books, Not People” & Other Advice from a Community Building Research Librarian
Today we continue our series of regular posts for science community managers interested in diversity, equity and inclusion. This installment features an interview conducted by Rosanna Volchok, the New York Academy of Sciences.
Additional series coordinators are Jennifer Davison, Urban@UW, University of Washington, Josh Knackert, UW-Madison Neuroscience Training Program, and Marsha Lucas, Society for Developmental Biology. You can find all of the posts in the series here.
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