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CAMPUS SAFETY HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL

MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION

Community of Practice
Leaders Guide

One City Centre, Suite 204


120 W. Seventh St.,
Bloomington, IN 47404
812.245.8084

info@cshema.org

www.cshema.org

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Introduction
Dear CSHEMA Community of Practice Leader:
Our goal in creating this instructional guide is to provide you with the confidence in
fulfilling your role as a leader in a CSHEMA Community of Practice by encouraging active
participation among community members.
In an effort to meet the identified needs of our community leaders, we have created
structured leader supports; i.e. updated community webpages, the introduction of the
integrated forum and email listserves which will be available shortly, video conferencing
capabilities through Adobe Connect, and this community leaders guide. The primary
context for this support is the community of practice webpages, which recently underwent
an upgrade to improve usability. You may also find important tips and information relevant
to your role as leader in the CSHEMA Connection and among our online learning resources.
While most of the support comes virtually, we are also there for you at the annual
conference, one-to-one contacts, and regular online meetings. Scarlett Winters is your
staff liaison, and she is here to assist you.
Your one-stop shop for all things leadership are the CSHEMA governing documents located
on the CSHEMA website. You will need high-speed Internet access for the ability to open
and read Word documents, PDFs, and other common file types. Please keep in mind, these
are currently undergoing a revision.
We will be evaluating the communities of practice and supports created for them
periodically to make sure we are meeting our goals. Your feedback is an important part of
this process. If there is an area where you could use some extra assistance in your role as
community of practice leader, or if you have ideas for changes we could make to existing
supports, we want to know. With your input, everyone can succeed.
Thank you,
Scarlett Winters
Communities of Practice Liaison, CSHEMA

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About the Community of Practice Leader Position


Your Overall Goal:
Contribute to the educational and community building missions of the Association through
actively engaging members of a community of practice in education and networking
around a focused area, with the goal of improving practice as it relates to that community.
Specific Objectives:

Be the main contact for your community members and the CSHEMA Central Office
by being available and accessible to them by returning communication and
stimulating the conversation.

Encourage participation by getting to know members, their skills, and by tapping


into membership for leadership roles and community of practice business.

Promote events to members and serve as the face of your community of practice at
the annual conference.

Keep CSHEMA Forum conversations for your community of practice going by making
sure questions are being answered and no one is being ignored.

Oversee any community of practice programs or research proposals.

Educate new members about CSHEMA Forum guidelines (CSHEMA Web Terms of
Service, About CSHEMA Forums, Privacy Policy) and assist members who have a
question about the CSHEMA Forum.

Participate in the CSHEMA Forum for your community of practice by creating new
threads and replying to posts

Identify categories for your communitys documents, and contact Central Office to
create them.

Add documents from your home campus that would be relevant to others in your
community of practice.

If a document category is lacking, invite members to post documents from their


collection/institution.

If documents are inaccessible, inaccurately categorized, or duplicated, contact


Central Office.

If members attach a document in a forum thread, ask them to upload it in the


Documents Exchange.

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Get your community of practice ready for the annual conference by soliciting topics
for educational sessions and sending them to Central Office.

Contact your Central Office liaison six months prior to the annual conference to plan
conference events for your community of practice.

Qualifications:
CSHEMA provides a list of qualifications for those applying to lead a community of
practice. The qualifications are:

Professional interest in the functional/identity/topical area of the community


Knowledge of the Associations programs, services, and other opportunities.
Sensitivity to and understanding of the diverse needs and priorities of the
Association's membership and the profession.
Full-time employment at a member institution, institutional support, and job
stability.

You can learn more about these by visiting: http://www.CSHEMA.org/content.aspx?


menu_id=30&id=9463

Helpful Topics
Leadership Support
Using the private community of other leaders to seek advice and share ideas is a great
way to find help with your community of practice. Some of your active members can be a
resource, as well. You are always welcome to contact your CSHEMA Central Office liaison
to communities of practice, or assistance. Also, schedule a meeting with the previous
community leader, who might be able to provide you with additional context or insights.
Volunteer Recruitment
The best way to recruit volunteers is simply to ask. There are many people who may not
respond to a membership-wide call out but appreciate being asked personally to
participate. Consider individuals who were active in discussions during meetings at the
annual conference or who participate regularly in the CSHEMA Forum.
Corporate Partners/Sponsorship
Associate members can provide valuable content and context when it comes to supporting
the work of the association. In addition, their financial support helps us do the work we do
with lesser costs to the member. While getting information to the membership serves as a
marketing venture for them, their knowledge can be very beneficial to our members.
Volunteer-Staff partnership

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When planning for programs, please include your CSHEMA Central Office liaison as a
partner in preparing the ask. The staff member will work with you on all matters related
to sponsorships. He/she will inform the corporate partnerships staff about the work being
done by the volunteers for any corporate involvement. The Central Office corporate
partnerships staff is available to meet with the volunteers working on sponsorship for oneon-one training and orientation.
The CSHEMA Central Office staff meet regularly to discuss potential matches, update on
sponsor progress, update on program changes, or additional sponsor opportunities. When
planning programs, it is critical to create as much detail as soon as possible as it allows
the corporate partnerships team to become familiar with the program and serve as its
advocate when approaching corporate partners.
Eligibility Guidelines for Corporate Partner Education Presentations
Generally speaking, every presenter must be a registered delegate at the program for
which they will be presenting. Additionally, all presenters must meet at least one of the
following qualifications:
1. All individual members in good standing, employees or students at an institutional
member in good standing, and veterans are eligible to present educational sessions.
2. Associate members or nonmembers representing not-for-profit organizations are
eligible to present educational sessions. Associate members and nonmembers are
encouraged to present with an institutional member whenever possible.
3. Every corporate presenter at the program must be an associate member in good
standing and be either a sponsor of the program or be an expo participant if an
expo exists. If the session does not include a co-presenter from a member
institution, a sponsorship is required (at the annual conference, the minimum
sponsorship required is $5,000; at regional conferences, any of the sponsorships
offered meet this requirement).
Sponsorship Levels
There are different levels of sponsorship (ie: Crystal to Platinum). The higher the
investment by the company, the higher the sponsorship level, the more visibility that is
offered to the company. This varies from program to program but should be consistent
levels based on the type of program (all regional conferences should cost the same to
participate). Pricing is set by the Central Office corporate partnerships team. Each
program should include benefits appropriately tied to the level of sponsorship.
Webinars/Thought Leadership
Webinars hosted by a community of practice or submitted for consideration by the
corporate partner should be accompanied by a corresponding sponsorship. Pricing is set in
advance by the corporate partnerships team but potential sponsors should be identified by
community leaders and other volunteers for the program. You can learn more about

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thought leadership sponsor opportunities at http://www.cshema.org/content.aspx?


id=1444.
Internal requests
The corporate partnerships department may request space for corporate partners to
demonstrate their tools and technology outside of the regular educational program.
Should the space be available at the program after the volunteers have planned the
program, these demonstrations would be determined outside of the education session
jurying process and would be available at an additional fee to the corporate member.

Ongoing Education
Communities of practice have the option to contribute to the educational mission of the
Association through the development of educational resources and delivery of educational
content. Options include:

Holding virtual discussions delivered via conference call, video conference, Twitter,
or other proposed online media

Development of models and templates members can use in practice

Writing of newsletters, Connection content, and white papers

Creation of face-to-face programs such as drive-in workshops, gatherings at regional


or other conferences, and seminar content

Conference Events
For many communities of practice, the annual conference is key to the education and
networking that takes place for members. Some decide to offer a PDS, networking event,
round-table discussion, information session, dinner on the town, or other social gathering
during the annual conference. While not a requirement, it is highly desired that the
community of practice leader attend the annual conference as a way to connect face-toface with members. Regardless, community leaders can:

Actively solicit technical sessions on topics relevant to your community of practice;


these will be juried with other session proposals.
o

Be sure to send your communitys list of topics to the Central Office

About six months prior to the annual conference, working with your Central
Office liaison to finalize annual conference events for your community of
practice.

Annual conference events are great ways to help your community of practice
bond

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For consistency and organization, serve as the point person for these events even if
you designate other individuals to assist you.

Member Engagement
A great way to motivate members to be more active in the community is to distribute
awards for best practices. Some ideas for this include:

Publicly thank the member via the CSHEMA Forum or during an event.
Post a member Honor Roll or Hall of Fame.
Nominate the member for a formal award.
Have members vote on Member of the Year.
Send thank you letters.
Plan a surprise achievement celebration for a member at the annual conference.
Include a kudos section in your community of practice newsletter.
Have each member create a list of favorites to be used as ideas for rewards for
that member.
Establish a member appreciation day.

CSHEMA Forum Moderation


The CSHEMA Forum within each community of practice can be used as a communication
tool to support ongoing discussion and sharing, as well as encouraging further
involvement with other CSHEMA members. To promote successful engagement on the
CSHEMA Forum:

Have regular community building opportunities to encourage participation, such as


posting introductions, and asking open-ended questions to help community
members get to know one another better.
Initiate an online discussion about group norms.

Monitor discussions.
o

If questions posted in the CSHEMA Forum are not being answered, address
them

Keep conversations going

Make sure no one is being ignored

Every group has members who are very active and those who never seem to
participate. Consider checking in with silent members to make sure their needs are
being met.

The best way to keep the CSHEMA Forum active is to use it yourself. If you notice
that the forum for your community of practice has been quiet, add your own post to
get conversations going again. Doing so helps the members get to know you better
as a leader.

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Seek feedback from members and share news about events you are planning.

Assist members who have questions about the CSHEMA Forum

Community of Practice Conference Call Information


The CSHEMA Central Office has created Adobe Connect meeting rooms for your
community of practice calls. Please find the specific URL for your community below:

Biological Safety
Practices

URL to join: https://connect.iu.edu/cshema_biosafety/

Emergency
Management

URL to join: https://connect.iu.edu/cshema_emergency/

Environmental and
Sustainability

URL to join:
https://connect.iu.edu/cshema_environ_sustain/

Facilities
Management

URL to join: https://connect.iu.edu/cshema_facilities/

Fire and Life Safety

URL to join: https://connect.iu.edu/fire/

Government
Relations

URL to join: https://connect.iu.edu/cshema_govrel/

Industrial Hygiene

URL to join: https://connect.iu.edu/cshema_ih/

Lab Safety

URL to join: https://connect.iu.edu/cshema_labsafety/

Leadership

URL to join: https://connect.iu.edu/cshema_leadership/

Marketing,
Education, and
Communications

URL to join: https://connect.iu.edu/cshema_marketing/

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Performing Arts
Safety

URL to join:
https://connect.iu.edu/cshema_performing_arts/

Radiation Safety
Practices

URL to join: https://connect.iu.edu/cshema_radsafety/

Research & Survey

URL to join: https://connect.iu.edu/cshema_research/

Small Colleges
and Universities

URL to join: https://connect.iu.edu/cshema_smallschools/

Technology

URL to join: https://connect.iu.edu/cshema_technology/

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Facilitating Adults
Since communities of practice aim to enhance member education and networking, an
understanding of how to facilitate an adult learning community is important. A few points
to keep in mind include:
Adults learn best by doing.
Adults learn best in an informal atmosphere that does not resemble formal
schooling.
Adults learn best when information engages multiple sensory inputs (auditory,
visual, kinesthetic, etc.)
Adults want support, not scores. Provide clear standards and constructive feedback.
Adults prefer to participate in curriculum development, when possible. Give multiple
options for achieving objectives.
Adults do not appreciate trick questions. Make it practical!
Adults learn best when information is layered. For example, presenting the concept,
providing examples and non-examples, allowing plenty of practice time.
Adults learn best when they know their learning style and how to use it to their
advantage.
Adults learn best when education is learner-centered.
Adults learn best when they know why they need to learn what you are teaching.
Adults learn best when they are treated like adults, when their life experience is
appreciated.
Adults learn best when what they are learning can be related to real life. (Lifecentered education, not subject-centered education)
Adults are responsive to intrinsic motivators, such as quality of life, job satisfaction,
etc.
Adults are diverse. Make your presentation accessible by keeping different cultures
and abilities in mind.

Links
Group Norms:
http://humanresources.about.com/od/teambuilding/qt/norms_sample.htm
http://humanresources.about.com/od/teambuilding/ht/group_norms.htm
http://thefuturebuzz.com/2009/07/16/rules-govern-groups-online/
Motivational Awards:
http://www.ehow.com/info_8281589_award-ideas-give-work.html
http://www.washington.edu/admin/hr/roles/mgr/ee-recognition/award-ideas
Adult Education:
http://www.benchmarkinstitute.org/best_practices/index.htm

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