This fall, starting with members of our community of practice, we’re piloting a number of online trainings tailor-made for scientific community managers and other facilitators.
CSCCE trainings contextualize and synthesize decades of research spanning organizational theory to marketing – all while honoring the wisdom that comes from practice and the value of peer support. One of the key facets of CSCCE trainings is that participants contribute, and learn from other community managers in turn.
CSCCE trainings are customized, participatory experiences, with attendees applying the frameworks discussed to their own contexts. For us, success looks like attendees leaving our trainings with not just tactics and tools, but also renewed confidence and fresh perspectives with which to approach their collaborative work.
In this pilot phase, each six-week course will involve a 90-minute webinar each week, plus a 60-minute Co-Lab, in which participants work more deeply with the materials covered that week. You should be prepared to allocate four hours total per week to each course for its duration, which includes up to 90 minutes of homework between sessions.
Cohort- and community-based learning
Learning and sharing together is one of CSCCE’s core values and we believe that in an emerging, dynamic profession such as scientific community engagement there are two complementary learning needs.
- The first is the creation of a shared vocabulary and set of frameworks to guide the way we talk about the work that we do – materials that we develop at CSCCE.
- The second is the need for trusted learning spaces where we can discuss our own challenges and successes and learn from one another’s experiences.
Learning together in cohorts is at the core of how we run our flagship CEFP training and we’re replicating it in these courses, limiting each course to a maximum of 20 participants.
Your path through CSCCE training
Scientific Community Engagement Fundamentals provides community managers of all levels critical language and frameworks for understanding what is a unique emerging leadership role. Based on some of the materials delivered in the initial training week of our flagship Community Engagement Fellows Program (CEFP), participants will develop skills spanning community strategy development, supporting member engagement, and content creation – three areas that scientific community managers have indicated training needs.
Participants will develop confidence, increased clarity about their role, and build relationships with other scientific community managers. We know this combination of formal training and peer support is effective – 92% of CEFP fellows in 2017 met their goals for the fellowship year.
For these reasons, completion of this course is required before you can continue on to join a CEFP fellowship cohort – our flagship, year-long, immersion program.
As we build out additional modular training offerings in the coming months, we’ll be indicating which require Scientific Community Engagement Fundamentals as a prerequisite and which can alternatively work as stand-alone experiences. We’re doing this to minimize repetition of materials and maximize time spent together.
Each of our courses will take a slightly different approach, combining various teaching techniques. The course description pages outline in more detail what you can expect from each.
Course one: Scientific community engagement fundamentals
This course is for new or existing community managers, equipping them with core frameworks and vocabulary to describe their community, their role within it, and to identify the stage that it’s at and the needs of its members.
Our course content is responsive to a survey we conducted of over 100 scientific community professionals to determine more about their career paths, their skill sets and challenges. The CSSCE has found that almost two-thirds of scientific community managers are self-taught in terms of their community management skills. This lack of formal training and peer support can lead to isolation and burnout.
Topics covered include:
- Definitions of community – and scientific communities
- Describing member engagement within communities
- Community lifecycle models
- Your role as a scientific community manager
Course two: Planning and delivering successful virtual meetings and events
This course is for existing scientific community managers who have been tasked with organizing and/or facilitating online events. These may include a single large event such as a virtual conference, as well as regular meetings such as community calls, working groups, and small group learning opportunities.
Topics covered include:
- Planning your event – goals and resources
- Onboarding communications
- Facilitation – and designing for inclusion
- Event formats to support attendee engagement
- Making online tools work for you
- Post-event activities
Course three: Nurturing and stewarding engaged online communities
This course is for community managers who are managing online communities of practice, e.g., in a shared Slack workspace or on an online platform such as Higher Logic. Many of these communities of practice are especially important right now as conversations have shifted online. This brings opportunities for culture change through making certain work and knowledge more visible and flattening hierarchies of participation – as well as providing immediate opportunities for identifying new shared goals such as COVID-19-related responses. This course is for anyone wanting to think more deeply about how to engage colleagues and community members in online communities – and in a way that will endure beyond the current pandemic.
Topics covered include:
- The roles of an online community manager
- Onboarding for new members
- Encouraging participation and commitment
- Technical support to aid adoption