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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2022 CSCCE Resource Guide

CSCCE’s Community of Practice, which we host in a Slack workspace (find out more and request to join here), contains a wealth of information. Over the years, our members have shared hundreds of blog posts, articles, podcasts, videos, and other media about a multitude of topics, from how to write inclusive content to hosting engaging and accessible events.

Whether you’re a member of the community and could use a reminder, or you’ve been wondering what tips our members have, we’ve curated some of 2022’s highlights in this blog post. Below is a list of 49 resources that garnered some of the most engagement in our Slack community over the past year.

Photo by Paul Melki on Unsplash
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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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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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New tip sheets on planning and launching community champions programs!

Today we published four tip sheets intended to help you plan and launch a community champions program. They were co-created by CSCCE staff and members of our champions programs working group, and complement the champions guidebook that we released last year. 

Ultimately, these four tip sheets will be joined by five more, each one illustrating one of the nine stages of community champions programs described in the guidebook (and shown below). Read on to find out more about champions, champions programs, and how they maintain, grow, and evolve communities in STEM.

Image credit: CSCCE. Citation: Center for Scientific Collaboration and Community Engagement. (2021) The CSCCE Community Participation Model – Exploring the Champion mode. Woodley and Pratt doi: 10.5281/zenodo.5275270
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February’s community call recap: Creating scaffolding to support your community

February’s community call focused on how scaffolding influences engagement and inclusion in communities. The call coincided with the release of the third installment of The CSCCE Community Participation Model guidebook, which described what scaffolding is and why it matters. And, as a gesture of gratitude and love to our community members in Valentine’s week, we also updated a number of our CC BY licensed scaffolding PDFs and created easily-adapted Google doc versions to support the creation of scaffolding across the STEM ecosystem.  

We spent time on the call discussing and exploring these resources and the challenges community managers face when trying to create and/or socialize scaffolding in their communities, as well as coworking to create, adapt, and update materials. In this post, we recap some of the key points that came up during our community conversation. 

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Scaffolding for healthy communities: New CSCCE guidebook out today!

Today we released the third part in our series of guidebooks that explore CSCCE’s Community Participation Model. It focuses on scaffolding – the items that complement programming to lower barriers to participation and support multiple modes of member engagement in a community. 

You can download a copy of the guidebook for free here, and read on for an overview of what scaffolding is and why you need it. 

Photo by Reto Simonet on Unsplash
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Opportunities to co-create with CSCCE in 2022

Co-creating resources with members of our community of practice is an important part of what we do here at CSCCE. It adds depth and breadth to the resources we publish while also being an opportunity for members to both gain a citable publication and give back to the community. In many cases, working on a CSCCE project also leads to new professional connections and working relationships that persist long after we publish the final product. 

So, as we continue our series of forward-looking blog posts, we’re thinking about the co-creating and collaboration opportunities that will exist over the next few months. If any of these opportunities pique your interest, let us know by emailing info@cscce.org

Co-create with us! Photo by Alice Dietrich on Unsplash
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New CSCCE resource explores the role of champions in building and sustaining communities in STEM

Our latest guidebook explores the importance of supporting and encouraging the work of community champions, emergent leaders who take on additional roles within a community to ensure its success. The guidebook builds on our Community Participation Model, which describes how community members engage with community programming and the ways community managers can design activities and events that meet members where they are. It forms part two in a growing series of foundational resources, with more to come later this year.

What is a community champion? 

We define a community champion as: 

​​​​An emergent leadership role within a community in which a community member takes on more responsibility for the success, sustainability, and/or running of the community.

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