Because good research needs good data

Delivering Research Data Management Services MOOC: Week 1 Recap

Three’s the magic number!

| 09 October 2020

Blog by S. Venkataraman 

This autumn, coinciding with the start of university teaching schedules in many parts of the world, the 3rd run of the Delivering Research Data Management Services (DRDMS) MOOC* was launched and now we are at the end of the first week of its 5-week run. Last time the course was run was back in spring and overlapped the numerous Covid-19 lockdowns that occurred around the world and which no doubt affected the ability of many students to devote time to the MOOC without distractions. We hope that will not happen again this time but that at the same time everyone is keeping safe and well!

Indeed, we are happy to report that in this third run we have over 670 subscribers from 101 countries. This means that over the course of its three runs, there have been over 1500 students that signed up! And as with previous runs we have had many thoughtful comments and questions in the comments sections - and such favourable responses to the material! We are very happy that there seems to be some consensus in the usefulness of the course.

Together with myself, Ellen, Rene and Ryan moderated this first week of the MOOC and it has been a pleasure to read through (and respond where necessary!) the many comments that have been made. We would also like to thank the British Council for their support in this particular third run, providing even more global reach, and the Online Course Production Team at the University of Edinburgh and FutureLearn for their support throughout the three runs.

In this first week we learnt about the basics of RDM services and making the case for support. Students watched various videos, read case studies, and were introduced to the data lifecycle, and subsequently reflected on the incentives at their own institution. Forum comments show that participants found the inputs from people we interviewed useful. 

"The need to collect, preserve and organise data is becoming more and more important in our lives."

"Supporting RDM is the whole time balancing between what can we ask from researchers/faculties and when do we ask too much. It is a continuous scrutinizing and probing to find out how the support really becomes appreciated as support. Do people recognize this? [sic]"

Next week Ellen, Sarah and Alex will be taking on lead duties in moderating and which will introduce how to do a gap analysis to identify what may be lacking in your institution and what you may want to aspire to. No doubt this will generate more thoughtful discussion and we look forward to your comments!

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* A MOOC is a Massive Open Online Course. Our MOOC is available on the FutureLearn platform and is free to all.