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A Sloth of Gummi Bears: Evaluating effectiveness of research data management instruction
University of Massachusetts and New England Area Librarian e-Science Symposium
  • Rebecca Reznik-Zellen, University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • Lisa A. Palmer, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Start Date
6-4-2017 8:15 AM
Purpose: This poster describes an evaluation of the effectiveness of elective-based, for-credit research data management instruction at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Population/Resources: Flexible Clinical Experiences (FCEs) are short (one-week), student-driven or pre-designed for-credit courses available to third-year medical students at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. FCE 3017: Research Data Management Fundamentals is a course offered by the library that provides an overview of the basic principles and best practices for data management, with a focus on data lifecycle planning, security and ethics, organization and documentation, and data sharing. To get credit for participating in this course, students are asked to prepare a data management plan and create a poster for a fictional Gummi Bear Population Study[1] as final deliverables. The data management plans and study posters give students an opportunity to apply the concepts learned in the course. Using these products, we are able to assess how well students have integrated the learning objectives of the course. Results: Six students have successfully completed this course. Although these deliverables tend to be brief and have a heavy tongue-in-cheek component to them, they do demonstrate that the basic concepts of research data management are understood. Data management plans show a basic understanding of the role of and different components of data management throughout the research lifecycle. Posters demonstrate a basic understanding of the importance of data documentation. At the same time, the brevity of the content for both the data management plans and the posters indicates areas where our curriculum could provide more detail. Discussion: After examining both the posters and the data management plans created by the students of FCE 3017, we are able to identify areas where our curriculum is effective, as well as areas where our instruction can be updated and more detailed. [1] This approach was inspired by Vasilevsky, Nicole; Wirz, Jackie; Champieux, Robin; Hannon, Todd; Laraway, Bryan; Banerjee, Kyle; Shaffer, Chris; and Haendel, Melissa, "Lions, Tigers, and Gummi Bears: Springing Towards Effective Engagement with Research Data Management" (2014). Scholar Archive. Paper 3571.
  • research data management instruction,
  • data literacy instruction,
  • research data education and training
Creative Commons License
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0
Citation Information
Rebecca Reznik-Zellen and Lisa A. Palmer. "A Sloth of Gummi Bears: Evaluating effectiveness of research data management instruction" (2017)
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