CSCCE Community Tools Trial Recap: Virtual escape rooms in Gather

In the second of our Summer 2022 community tools trials, CSCCE staff members Adrienne and Katie and several members of our community of practice met to “Escape the Island” in Gather. We actually ended up trying to escape a dungeon labyrinth (read on to find out why!) and explored how best to use these tools at virtual networking events. 

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CSCCE Community Tools Trial Recap: A “Butter” way to Zoom?

CSCCE tools trials resumed for a short run of three sessions on Wednesday, 13 July 2022. A combination of CSCCE staff and community of practice members spent 60 minutes trying out the facilitation platform Butter, and in this blog post we share some of the features we tried and what we thought. 

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Tools trials are back this summer!

Ever wanted to test out a new platform or app but needed some more users to make it worthwhile? That’s what CSCCE tools trials are for!

And this summer we’ll be hosting a short series of three tools trials to try out Butter (a tool for administering breakout rooms), Gather (specifically their new escape room), and a third tool of your choosing (let us know what you’d like to trial here). 

Read on for more information, including calendar invites and what to expect! 

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CSCCE Community Tools Trial 2.0 Recap: Virtual networking events

In late February, we relaunched our Community Tools Trials. This time around we’ve adjusted the format to provide the time and space to solve a specific challenge related to hosting online events each month, by pooling the diverse experiences and knowledge of the members of our community of practice. 

Our earlier tools trials, “Tools Trials 1.0,” took a methodical approach to testing a variety of events platforms, with a primary focus on how the tool worked and what kinds of events it would be suited to (you can read our recap blog posts here). This series, however, “Tools Trials 2.0,” is putting the specific use case first, and then figuring out a solution (or choice of solutions!) that is engaging, inclusive, and accessible. 

The first of the 2.0 series took place on 25 February 2021, and focused on virtual networking events. Community member Rachael Ainsworth of the Software Sustainability Institute wanted to test out an icebreaker idea with a sizable group, as well as have a larger discussion about what icebreakers work online, what platforms are out there, and how different users might experience the event. 

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CSCCE Tools Trials 2.0

In 2020, we conducted a series of virtual tools trials, to test out platforms and apps that help communities connect and work together online. Together with members of the CSCCE community of practice, we tested eight platforms, and recapped our findings on the CSCCE blog

This Spring, we are launching “Tools Trials 2.0.” Instead of focusing on a single platform, we’ll devote each monthly trial to discussing, and hopefully solving, a specific use case. We’ll then take what we learned and share it with the broader community. 

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November’s Community Call: Shaping future CSCCE programming

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. 

Our October community call will crowdsource input on how CSCCE can support community engagement managers as they work to nurture and grow online communities. Image credit: CSCCE
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CSCCE Community Tools Trials Recap: Wonder

In our sixth tools trial we went full circle to the tool that started it all: Wonder. Over the summer, an impromptu group of CSCCE members (inspired and led by Naomi Penfold) tried out what was then called YoTribe, a gathering that inspired our ensuing Tools Trials. Some updates to the platform, a new name, and some new use-cases to experiment with later, and it was time to try Wonder out again. 

Since our first tangle with YoTribe/Wonder we have tried out virtual conference spaces Qiqochat, Remo, and Gather; ideation tools Mural, Padlet, and Jamboard; and collaborative workspace Etherpad+Video. You can catch up on what we thought in our series of blog posts. 

Our Wonder trial involved seven volunteers from our community of practice, and was co-hosted by community member Cass Gould van Praag. If you have ideas for future trials, whether it’s a tool you want to know more about or one you have experience with that you’d like to share, please reach out to us at info@cscce.org

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CSCCE Community Tools Trials Recap: Remo

For our fifth virtual tools trial, CSCCE community of practice member Mate Palfy shared his knowledge of the online conferencing platform Remo. In this blog post we offer a brief recap of the trial, and share our collaborative notes. 

What’s a CSCCE tools trial? It’s an opportunity to try out an online platform with a group of your fellow scientific community managers and see whether it might be useful for your community. We have summarized all of our previous trials on the blog so you can catch up: Qiqochat, Mural/Padlet/Jamboard, Gather, and Etherpad+Video. And, join us next week at noon US EDT for the next trial in the series, which will be networking tool Wonder (previously YoTribe). 

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CSCCE Tools Trial: Remo

Join us for an informal trial of the virtual events platform Remo (https://remo.co/).

Please note that we are not endorsing or promoting Remo in any way. We will ensure that you have the option to enter the event as a guest and will not provide any of your identifying information to Remo. If you would like to learn more about the platform in advance, please view their website before joining the meeting.

CSCCE Community Tools Trial Recap: Etherpad+Video

Tools trial number four in our ongoing series took place on Thursday, 24 September. About a dozen members of our community of practice (request to join here) met to try out the new video chat integration on Etherpad, an open-source collaborative note-taking platform.

A big thank you to community member Malika Ihle, who co-hosted this trial and kindly shared her expertise and experience with Etherpad. 

Our previous trials covered Qiqochat, Mural/Jamboard/Padlet, and Gather. If you have any ideas or requests for future trials, or would like to co-host with us, let us know by emailing us: info@cscce.org.

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