Jan 14, 2022
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New OpenAIRE Training Platform: A facilitator of good research

Jan 14, 2022
In the first quarter of 2022, OpenAIRE will unveil a new learning platform. A learning management system (LMS) based on Moodle, configured for the needs of our communities. The new platform will cover topics of open science for different actors with best practices for RDM and will give learners a sound grounding to conduct their work. It will include a wide gamut of tools available to the research, RDM support staff and trainer communities, as well as training material for services offered by OpenAIRE.

Mixed modes of learning and content

The last couple of years during the Covid crisis has heightened demand for online learning, and this has in many cases taken the form of synchronous events through videoconferencing platforms such as Zoom. However, synchronous teaching is not always possible or feasible and online tools provide a wealth of alternatives.

OpenAIRE’s LMS will aggregate many openly available pre-existing content, such as the FOSTER Open Science courses and OpenAIRE’s own guides, and repackage them, as well as create new content based on tailored requirements. This will in part preserve some materials that will otherwise become obsolete while also providing a centralised point of entry for the disparate sources. New content will be based on gaps in provision where necessary and will require some input from the community to identify what. Since this is a community platform, we will also aim to allow content from external sources to host their work here through collaboration and we invite those that have training content that needs a home to get in touch!

Content and materials will take a variety of forms from video, audio, and text to interactive modules that will together provide an engaging learning experience. There is also scope for providing an as yet unidentified badging or certification mechanism, but this will probably require further work and is being investigated. As well as providing a means for on-demand learning, the LMS will also incorporate a web conferencing system based on Zoom which will allow synchronous learning to be conducted and to have classes, including breakout rooms. Taken together, the functionality and modes of learning will provide a wide choice for both the training providers and the learners.

Multilingual support

Since the objective of the LMS will be to provide a service at the pan-European level, and beyond.  

There will be courses in a variety of languages including, but not exclusively, English, Spanish, and Portuguese.

The extent to which there will be other languages will depend on the resources available, but there is a commitment by OpenAIRE to make the LMS as inclusive as possible and therefore the community will be able to provide input on what courses and in what languages should be produced.

Free access

Anyone, whether an OpenAIRE member or not, will however be able to register.

Courses available on the LMS will be completely free but will require registration to start learning.

Registration will provide certain benefits including login to the LMS, the ability to engage with the learner’s community on the LMS as well as gaining access to user preferences and the ability to pick up where you left off.

Target audience

The fields of RDM and open science have undergone a renaissance in recent decades, primarily due to the internet and access to vast amounts of digital data. Meanwhile, in the last few years, the FAIR principles have crystalised much of the attributes needed for these fields. This has placed the onus on researchers to safeguard their data and this requires proper training.

Therefore, the primary focus of the OpenAIRE LMS will be those that produce data and those tasked with their proper management.

There is also a need to build a community of data stewards and trainers to create a multiplier effect that will spread knowledge throughout the community. Training courses will be tailored to these different groups and there will be enough flexibility to provide domain-specific content too.

What we would like you to do is to join us on the LMS when it is fully released and provide your feedback on it as well as start learning and thinking about what content could be included. After all, this is for the community and will partly rely on the community to realise its full potential! Watch out in the coming months for news updates via our Twitter and other channels of its imminent release and we look forward to welcoming you!

For more information about our New Training Platform, please contact the author of this news article, Shanmugasundaram Venkataraman. Venkat is the Training Manager of OpenAIRE and is responsible for the overall training strategy being implemented by OpenAIRE. He is also involved in the direct delivery of training, and production of materials and services. 

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OpenAIRE has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme under Grant Agreements No. 777541 and 101017452 (see all).

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