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Pedagogy for data management: curricular design strategies for teaching research data management to graduate students

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  • Poster presented at the Data Information Literacy Symposium at Purdue University (West Lafayette, IN), 22-24 September, 2013.
  • As funding agencies increasingly require a detailed data management and sharing plan with proposals, and view published datasets as standalone products of research, practical knowledge in data management is a critical skill for researchers. Despite its growing importance, formal coursework in research data management (RDM) is rare at the university level. Academic libraries are playing a leadership role in providing RDM training and support to faculty and graduate students, using methods ranging from informal consultation and developing online instructional materials to offering workshops and formal coursework. This poster will focus on one RDM training approach: credit-bearing coursework for graduate students. Admittedly, research data management isn’t the most charismatic topic. The critical nature of the content however, necessitates that instructors develop strategies to deliver the subject matter in such a way that students are inspired to get engaged with the material. In this poster, I will discuss strategies for delivering RDM content in a classroom setting that encourage student interest and participation. I approach the pedagogy of RDM by merging content knowledge and instructional design to develop teaching strategies suited to the audience and the material. The practical result is that the learning topic drives the method of content delivery. For example, the subject of data sharing is well suited to having students participate in a debate (or “structured controversy”), while a lesson in file naming would be better supported with small group work. Teaching strategies discussed in the poster will include lecture, guided discussion, reflective writing, active learning, cooperative learning, structured controversy, student projects and integrating technology. Visitors to the poster can expect to: understand the concepts of pedagogy, instructional design and teaching strategy; recognize the advantage of customizing a teaching strategy for a given subject; and, gain ideas for how to apply these pedagogical concepts to their own data management teaching efforts.
  • Keywords: data information literacy, academic libraries, active learning, teaching strategies, pedagogy, data management
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  • Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA
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