J. Encourage interoperable short-format training registries


Short-format training should be as easy to find as possible.

In an ideal world, learners could search and evaluate all available SFT to choose what is best for them. National and international registries of training opportunities, learning materials, and expert instructors exist 1 2, but not for every country, nor across all fields. Registries may differ in the way they describe their resources, limiting the comparisons that learners can make. While there may never be a single registry to support all learners and every SFT opportunity, common standards 3 4 (e.g., descriptions, software APIs) could make registries interoperable and searchable.

How might this work:🚲

Registries of training materials are not new. However, when siloed and restricted to small communities of interest, they rely on the resources of that community to maintain and disappear when they are no longer funded. By designing interoperable registries, a smaller number of comprehensive registries could be more sustainable. SFT stakeholders (i.e., instructors, instructional designers/administrators, learners) would need to develop and provide feedback on description standards. Communities could decide to maintain their own registries (which would at least be interoperable) but ideally they should be strongly incentivized to pool resources. Evidence suggests that registries are a useful resource, and existing international registries (such as ELIXIR TeSS) show the value of centralizing registries while serving a diverse set of communities. Developing interoperable registries that use community standards to describe training events and materials would also enable adoption of FAIR training principles. Funder mandates could maximize return on value by centralizing how SFT training materials or opportunities are disseminated through a registry.

Benefits to the learners:🚲

  1. Learners could find a larger number of SFT opportunities and training materials.
  2. Consistent descriptions allow easier comparison of training opportunities.

Incentives to implementers:🚲

For Instructors and Instructional Designers

  1. SFT opportunities and materials could be more easily found, stimulating reuse and collaboration.
  2. Learners can more easily find SFT opportunities they wish to advertise.

For Instructional Designers, Funders, and Organizations

  1. Institutions could meet obligations to disseminate and apply FAIR principles 5 to training materials, gain visibility, and collect usage metrics.

Barriers to implementation:🚲

  1. Software and resources (e.g., curators, project managers) would be needed to support functionality, these must be developed and sustained. While existing implementation models, metadata standards, and software could be reused they will likely need to be adapted.
  2. Adding materials to a registry and maintaining an up-to-date registry requires extra effort. There are automated and web scraping tools that could reduce this burden.
  3. Funding and agreements across institutions may be needed to support this effort.

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  1. Niall Beard, Finn Bacall, Aleksandra Nenadic, Milo Thurston, Carole A Goble, Susanna-Assunta Sansone, Teresa K Attwood, TeSS: a platform for discovering life-science training opportunities, Bioinformatics, Volume 36, Issue 10, 15 May 2020, Pages 3290–3291, https://doi.org/10.1093/bioinformatics/btaa047

  2. Digital Research Skills Australasia (DReSA). https://dresa.org.au/

  3. Martinez, Paula Andrea, & Unsworth, Kathryn. (2021). ARDC Training Materials Metadata Checklist v1.1 (1.1). Zenodo. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.5276003

  4. Hoebelheinrich, Nancy J, Biernacka, Katarzyna, Brazas, Michelle, Castro, Leyla Jael, Fiore, Nicola, Hellström, Margareta, Lazzeri, Emma, Leenarts, Ellen, Martinez Lavanchy, Paula Maria, Newbold, Elizabeth, Nurnberger, Amy, Plomp, Esther, Vaira, Lucia, van Gelder, Celia W G, & Whyte, Angus. (2022). Recommendations for a minimal metadata set to aid harmonised discovery of learning resources (1.0). https://doi.org/10.15497/RDA00073

  5. 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