As digital programming becomes increasingly essential, OPPE has set up ASHG for success in its expansion of the ways in which members access content. Each month ASHG offers at least one new webinar, including the AJHG Online Journal Club, which provides members the opportunity to explore recent American Journal of Human Genetics (AJHG) papers with the authors. All webinars have been recorded and stored in a content library for members to view on-demand at their convenience. The Genetically Speaking podcast series showcases ASHG members from various career stages discussing their professional paths and providing insight and reflection on careers in genetics. And, audio and video recordings from ASHG 2019 are also available on-demand. In line with this content, OPPE will continue to guide ASHG’s creation of new and exciting digital offerings for years to come.
As ASHG strives towards its vision that people everywhere realize the benefits of human genetics and genomics research, the Online Programs and Professional Education Working Group (OPPE) met at the ASHG Headquarters in February to discuss how the group and its action plan would further this vision. As a new ASHG Working Group, this in-person meeting addressed the needs around online programming and professional education at ASHG, and how to build a plan to address those needs. Ultimately, OPPE determined that they will focus on engaging the genetics and genomics community through digital content to increase learning opportunities, career growth, and training. They also aim to provide a new year-round forum outside of the Annual Meeting to increase awareness around advocacy, diversity, and public engagement strategies.
OPPE determined that their activities could increase the value of ASHG membership by providing inclusive, collaborative, and rigorous content. When looking forward to future activities and discussions, the Working Group identified several guiding principles. These include:
- Developing digital programs with inclusive and socially responsible topics;
- Selecting topics, speakers, moderators, and images which reflect the broad diversity of the research community;
- Offering strategic input on funding opportunities and educational grants that are available for digital and professional education programs;
- Pursuing innovative strategies; and creating content driven by member needs.
In the coming years, OPPE plans to guide year-round digital programming content in alignment with other committees’ action plans, work with the ASHG community to cultivate a diverse list of scientific topics and potential speakers to convert into digital program content of high interest to current and potential ASHG members, and experiment with emerging technologies and platforms that enable a greater reach to target audiences.
As a result of the OPPE action plan, members can expect to continue to receive content that increases learning opportunities, career growth, and training. ASHG has been uniquely positioned to increase its online content as access to resources has changed during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Society and OPPE look forward to providing more digital programming as we look forward to the ASHG 2020 Virtual Meeting and beyond.