Abstract for: Online Approaches for Community Based Modeling: Adapting to COVID Operations and Innovating for Future Practice

The emergence of the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting need for social distancing has upended business as usual in nearly all industries. The teaching and practice of community-based system dynamics is no different. While the broader System Dynamics community includes exciting approaches to facilitated online modeling, remote approaches to exploratory modeling and engagement in communities and social service organizations has been rare prior to last Spring. In this Work in Progress we report on an exploration of online collaboration and modeling platforms for use in community-based system dynamics modeling settings. The exploration includes: 1. Identifying and cataloguing existing online platforms in order to gauge potential usefulness for community based system dynamics work and 2. Developing adapted group model building scripts and testing these scripts in mock group model building sessions with student participants. In this Work in Progress session we intend to share our approach to running online group model building test sessions, and present preliminary insights and implications for practice.