I. Apply FAIR principles to training materials


The value of training materials increases when they are findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable.

The FAIR principles 1 are an existing framework for handling data to maximize its value. The FAIR principles do not dictate any specific implementation, it will be up to instructors and instructional designers to translate these principles when developing training materials. FAIR has already been adapted and applied to training materials 2 3 and these efforts can be expanded and made more efficient.

How might this work:🚲

Training materials that are FAIR will allow instructors and learners alike to locate materials of interest more easily. Materials that are made interoperable and reusable (e.g., through the use of standardized formats and open licensing, and consistent metadata descriptions 4) would be more easily used by instructors.

Instructors and instructional designers can directly implement this recommendation although there may be a need for guidance and training on how to make materials FAIR. Specialized computational tools including those for storing and sharing of materials, as well as the tools used to develop the materials (e.g., webpages, videos, documents, repositories) may need to be utilized or adapted to facilitate the implementation of the principles with/for training.

Benefits to the learners:🚲

  1. Training materials become easier to find before, during, and after training.
  2. High-quality training materials are more likely to be shared and reused, allowing more learners to be reached by training that would not have been produced locally.
  3. Applying FAIR principles to training materials could allow learners to adapt and customize materials to their needs more easily.

Incentives to implementers:🚲

For Instructors and Instructional Designers

  1. Existing training materials are easier to locate and reuse, eliminating the effort and expense needed to create entirely novel training materials.
  2. Training materials are more likely to be reused and credited by others.
  3. Ensuring that materials are FAIR enables collaboration and co-development.

For Funders and Organizations

  1. Funders and organizations could have a better sense of what training materials exist and which need to be created, reducing effort duplication.

Barriers to implementation:🚲

  1. Mindset change may be needed to see the value of making materials consistent with FAIR. Training and information resources may help mitigate this.
  2. Implementing FAIR takes extra effort when designing materials. Templates and clear guidelines may mitigate this.
  3. Institutional guidelines may prohibit application of FAIR (e.g., when teaching materials are proprietary).

Survey question🚲

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  1. Wilkinson, M., Dumontier, M., Aalbersberg, I. et al. The FAIR Guiding Principles for scientific data management and stewardship. Sci Data 3, 160018 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1038/sdata.2016.18

  2. Leyla Garcia, Bérénice Batut, Melissa L. Burke, Mateusz Kuzak, Fotis Psomopoulos, Ricardo Arcila, Teresa K. Attwood, Niall Beard, Denise Carvalho-Silva, Alexandros C. Dimopoulos, Victoria Dominguez Del Angel, Michel Dumontier, Kim T. Gurwitz, Roland Krause, Peter McQuilton, Loredana Le Pera, Sarah L. Morgan, Päivi Rauste, Allegra Via, Pascal Kahlem, Gabriella Rustici, Celia W.G. Van Gelder, and Patricia M. Palagi. Ten simple rules for making training materials FAIR. PLoS Computational Biology, 16(5):1–9, 2020. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1007854. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1007854

  3. Train-the-trainer handbook for making training materials FAIR. https://elixir-fair-training.github.io/FAIR-training-handbook/

  4. Hoebelheinrich, N. J., Biernacka, K., Brazas, M., Castro, L. J., Fiore, N., Hellström, M., Lazzeri, E., Leenarts, E., Martinez Lavanchy, P. M., Newbold, E., Nurnberger, A., Plomp, E., Vaira, L., van Gelder, C. W. G., & Whyte, A. (2022). Recommendations for a minimal metadata set to aid harmonised discovery of learning resources (Version 1.0). Research Data Alliance. https://doi.org/10.15497/RDA00073