RDM online Training (RDMoT) disrupted: Continuity in RDMoT amidst change

Ms Adeline Wong1, Dr Adrian Chew1, Ms Cecilia Stenstrom1

1University Of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

When life throws you strawberries, how do you jam with it? Earlier this year, the host platform for UNSW’s Research Data Management online Training (RDMoT) decided to go into retirement mode unexpectedly. Then COVID-19 decided to also weigh in. There were concerns around how we would keep true to our design approach with alternatives in lieu of an online training platform and face to face engagements.

UNSW’s contextualised RDMoT is a key strategy to address issues and associated risks for researchers and research support staff who handle research data throughout its lifecycle. It has received excellent feedback since its rollout in 2019 (n ≈ 1200). The asynchronous online training distills various data policies, guidelines and procedures into actionable outputs for the target audience. The RDMoT was developed with a participatory design approach, with ongoing refinements to each iteration of the training based on feedback obtained from end-users.

This presentation will reflect on the opportunities afforded in the virtual space, as a result of COVID-19 and changes to the host online training platform. We will outline our (virtual) approach to maintaining RDM engagement and the development of RDM resources to support researchers throughout the various stages of the research data lifecycle. The presentation highlights how we continue to co-opt end users to co-produce training, amidst the interruptions; which is important to ensure alignment between institutional objectives and learners’ interpretation of those objectives. It also aims to examine how training and engagement, continue to be organised around user-centricity, albeit in different permutations.


Adeline is a Research Data Management project officer at the University of New South Wales. Her background is in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). She is interested in Adult Education, especially in the areas of learner motivation and inclusive instructional strategies for learners from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds.

Adrian W. Chew is currently the Data Management Training Consultant at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Sydney. He is also an Adjunct Lecturer with the School of Education at UNSW Arts and Social Sciences.

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