What’s it all about? reviewing supportDM Module 1

The UEL subject librarians are acting as guinea pigs for the supportDM course, run as blended learning with fortnightly meetings interspersed with online study and homework tasks. After the kick-off meeting we blogged about here, we reconvened on 18 March to go over the Xerte module “Introducing Research Data Management”.

I ran the event by myself (John wasn’t available that day) so my notes are a bit sketchy – it’s hard to lead a conversation, give proper attention to the discussion and at the same time take notes. Perhaps I should have asked a participant to take notes, or made use of a flipchart to write notes as I went.

We reviewed their experience of the first Xerte module: overall, they felt it was repeating too much the content of the introductory PowerPoint a fortnight before. We also had a short three–question survey in Moodle to gauge their experience of the module, and one kind soul managed to make a positive out of this repetition:

Well, it was the same as the session on Monday so I’m a bit confused about what the point was. I suppose it underlines the main points.

The homework task was to set up and conduct a researcher interview. Not all could arrange the meeting within the time-scales  so in future we would want to give more advance notice. Several were apprehensive about the task, but the two that shared their experience found it less scary – indeed, a good way to engage with their chosen researcher. In future, it would be good to write up the interview as a record and to follow up: it may be that the interviewer is able to provide advice or signposting as a result of the rest of the supportDM course .

We were also joined by Mariëtte van Selm from the University of Amsterdam. Mariëtte had just visited the RDMRose project, and is well underway with scoping the library’s response to the RDM challenge at Amsterdam. It was great to get her perspective, and to share what she is doing. This helps to underline that library involvement in RDM is not just a “UEL thing” or “Stephen’s hobby horse” but a matter of interest across academic libraries.

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