This CoP will invite participants to learn about models for integrating digital components into civic engagement projects and to develop individual project plans in a supportive environment.
Digital civic engagement offers both exciting possibilities and challenges for campus-community partnerships. Digital tools, like blogs, maps, archives, videos, and exhibits, can facilitate broader community participation in projects, wider public engagement with scholarship, and new perspectives on pressing social issues. In the context of COVID-19, digital tools may be especially valuable when immersive community engagement may not be possible. Yet, digital civic engagement projects also pose challenges around communication, ethics, sustainability, and how to manage projects that may combine direct engagement with the digital. Establishing clear frameworks for campus-community partnerships, understanding and selecting appropriate digital tools, and developing a project management plan to provide support and sustainability for the project are all especially important when there may be fewer opportunities for face-to-face interaction.
We anticipate that participants in this CoP will arrive with experience in civic engagement and have a community or campus partner in mind for a potential digital project. The CoP does not require knowledge of specific digital tools or experience with digital projects. The CoP’s primary focus will be on projects that can involve students and that are developed in collaboration with a partner or shared with the public.
The CoP will focus on trust among participants. The group will chart its specific path, based on the needs and desires of the CoP, but we have outlined possible themes for the sessions:
Laying a Foundation: Participants can engage case studies that illustrate potential models of digital civic engagement. Through this session, participants may focus on a potential project of their own or a hypothetical example they can continue to develop throughout the CoP.
Ethics: We can discuss the ethical concerns that arise in digital spaces (including questions surrounding accessibility and inclusivity, data use and privacy, copyright and fair use, and invisible labor).
Community Building: We can focus on the challenges and opportunities inherent to building community remotely. How do partners develop relationships and trust from afar?
Teaching: We can probe digital civic engagement as part of student learning and development strategies.
Resource Mapping: It is helpful to map campus and community resources, no matter a participant’s institutional type or individual position within their institution.
Sustainability and Preservation: Creating sustainability plans for projects is helpful, when projects need maintenance, updating, or are time-specific.
We hope that throughout the CoP, participants will develop a project plan and will come away with next steps.
- Gain a broad overview and inspiration for potential digital projects.
- Develop a basic understanding of the ethical and design questions surrounding digital projects.
- Identify resources and consider ways that a digital project can be sustained and could be structured into teaching and impact goals
- Create an initial proposal for a digital civic engagement project. This proposal will include a project charter identifying stakeholders as well as the campus collaborators and technical infrastructures necessary to implement the project.
- Develop a peer network for support and learning.
- Paul Schadewald, Senior Program Director, Community-Based Learning and Scholarship, Macalester College
- Aisling Quigley, Postdoctoral Fellow in the Digital Liberal Arts, Macalester College
Schedule: Second Friday of each month from 1:00 to 2:30 pm (Oct. 9, Nov. 13, Dec. 11, Feb. 12, Mar. 12, Apr. 16)