A brand-new, free to use, openly licensed, trustworthy and sustainable training platform for Open Science.
Let us introduce you to OpenPlato.
By making itself open to the community - to end-users - for free (only registration required!) OpenPlato is an online training platform for the research and research support communities to learn about Open Science, FAIR principles and research data management and so much more associated with these. Creators and owners of training resources are invited to participate and come on board – we are very keen to hear from you!
OpenPlato has the ambition to become the de facto training platform for open science and by doing so will increase the value and visibility of all the resources held in it. Funding to maintain and guarantee its long-term survival is being backed by OpenAIRE and its members, already successfully operating services for 12 years, and is now in a position to share its success with OpenPlato.
Being based on Moodle, there are many functionalities baked in and which are very well documented thanks to a thriving Moodle community. OpenPlato includes these as well as additional functionalities. Headlines include:
A trusted platform by which training can be delivered both synchronously and asynchronously. E-learning is facilitated through building activities and modules and which can also include content that has been created through external authoring tools that can generate SCORM packages.
Public and private resources populate a catalogue which will act as a “repository” of learning and which will be subject to minimum metadata specifications and adherence to a standard so that their long-term value will be increased.
Resources from the catalogue can be used to mix and match where necessary to create learning paths, guiding learners on a journey to, say, a particular learning objective.
We have integrated Zoom into OpenPlato, currently with 20 licences and each capable of accommodating 300 participants, so that virtual classrooms can be conducted and offering a platform for teachers and learners to interact.
Moodle is a well-established open-source learning management system (LMS) with a huge community and which we have chosen for OpenPlato, our brand-new open science-focused training platform and which will address many of these issues above.
To ensure that we treat training resources in a similar manner to any other digital object that may come from, for example, research, OpenPlato has adopted the recently released minimal metadata standards that were drafted by the RDA Education and Training on Handling of Research Data (ETHRD) interest group (IG), who have as part of their work produced outputs.
Standardisation of the required metadata will increase the value and long-term sustainability of these resources and increase their discoverability. We hope that their adoption by OpenPlato and some other recent initiatives will drive their uptake more broadly across the community and which will be of benefit to all.
As a community resource that is aiming to be a central hub for training in the Open Science arena, bringing together resources from a diverse range of institutions, projects, countries, and languages requires a long-term commitment financially and this will be underwritten by OpenAIRE annually.
Moreover, by making efforts to homogenise the metadata through the RDA ETHRD minimum metadata set, these resources can be easily exchanged and adopted at will with other training platforms that we hope will also adopt the same standards. It should also be noted that the more resources that we can attract – and that are of high quality! – the more OpenPlato will become a trusted platform, and which will have a bearing on its sustainability. Indeed, quality assurance will be looked into as well through OpenAIRE’s membership and other initiatives underway that are defining standards for learning resources.
Remembering that OpenPlato is for you and the community at large, we are taking care to review and accept suggestions to make the platform better and more useful. One of these is to provide country-specific pages where you will be able to find training resources that were developed and created in that country and not necessarily in the local language (especially when we think about English being so widely used!). These pages are of particular relevance since they may have training that is of direct consequence to that country such as legal requirements and which would otherwise perhaps be difficult to find. These country-specific pages will also provide a forum in which individuals from those countries will be able to network and find each other, facilitating networking and community building.
We will expand these as and when required while we monitor the platform’s usage and requests that we hope to get from the community.
For more information please contact Shanmugasundaram Venkataraman, the OpenAIRE training officer.