The Convener's Role

Fundamental to the Community of Practice focus is a recognition of the wealth of knowledge in the CLASP community. The convener's role is not to be the expert, but rather to be a person who helps draw out both the expertise and top-of-mind concerns in our community.

The Role of the Convener (aka "Advisor")

Below I provide an overview of the timeline and the ways that Conveners/Advisors will support the virtual Spring discussion series (and how I aim to support them)


  • We would work together to assign each convener a day of the week for their broad topic. They would then have the freedom to schedule 3 to 5 virtual discussions on that day between ~ March 28 and May 31
  • I am providing conveners with the names of the people who expressed interest in committing to their topic
  • I am providing conveners with the names of the people who expressed interest in serving as a note-taker (if any). This person can change from session to session. If no one expressed interest in the survey, I will encourage conveners to ask two or three of the registrants if they would be willing to take notes for one of the sessions.
  • Conveners will schedule discussion dates & times and share with me. While the day of the week will stay the same, I would encourage you to move the time around in case anyone has a standing meeting that would conflict
  • Conveners set up a zoom link (or use another platform) for the discussions and share registration links with me
  • I would compile the meeting times and zoom links from each of the conveners and share with the CLASP community by email, on the web, and on the Collaboratory

During Sessions

  • It would be useful to capture attendance (perhaps by having people post their email in the chat?) as this may help the LAG make decisions on allocating travel funding. Conveners should save the chat for future reference.
  • During first two to three sessions – I would encourage a more loose discussion of top-of-mind concerns. This is an opportunity to cast a broad net for the concerns and solutions of the group in the realm of your broad topic. (Perhaps use the ideas generated on the Jamboard as “icebreaker” questions.) If someone mentions a particularly interesting solution or question to explore, or seems to have developed some expertise in a particular areas, I would encourage conveners to note that.
  • By the third or fourth sessions – I would encourage conveners to approach a particular session as opportunity to converge on the most interesting/pressing questions. Conveners should the attendees know that this is the goal of that particular discussion. What excites the group the most? How would these subtopics be best addressed in a conference format – with your allotted time of one to 1.5 hours? Powerpoint presentation? Panel? Who among the attendees might be the right people to take the lead on these subtopics? (I hope to have guidance on how we will be allocating travel support by this time, so people would feel more comfortable volunteering to present. Even if they are not able to come to Colorado, however, they would still be able to present in follow-up discussions after the conference.)

After Virtual Sessions

  • I will arrange a meeting of the List Advisory Group (LAG) in early June for the conveners to share with the group which subtopics generated the most interest under their broad topic, and approximately how much time at the conference they would request for each subtopic. The LAG could weigh in on finalizing the content.
  • After the content has been chosen, I imagine that the leaders of the subtopics would reach out to conveners as a sounding board as they work on their presentations.
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