Open Data Training
Guide 1: An Introduction to Open Data
This training module is a very quick introduction to open data for newcomers to the topic, and for those who know a bit but want to know more. This material was produced by Mozilla Science Lab, a program to encourage the use of open source practices and web technologies to do better science.
Total Time to Complete
About 1 hour, including transitions.
- Define open data
- Describe the benefits of open data
- Respond to common challenges to open data
- Workshop introductions, and an introduction to our topics (10 minutes)
- Think-Pair-Share: What is open data? Define. (10 minutes)
- Case Study Exploration: (15 minutes)
• Example 1: Growth in the Time of Debt
• Example 2: Human Genome Project
- The Benefits of Open Data in 8 Easy Points (5 minutes)
- Challenges to Open Data: Role Playing Exercise (10 minutes)
- Additional Resources (10 minutes)
- Familiarity with Open Data Training Primer 1
- Close review of Instructor Guides and all supporting materials for this module
Topic 1: Introductions and Discussion about Open Data
- Instructor (3 minutes)
- Explain your background, how you became involved in open data.
- Why this training, why Mozilla? (2 minutes)
- • Intro the training series, and how it was created (collaboration, sprints, output of fellows program)
- • Structure of the session, content exploration through activities
- • Why MSL and Mozilla are involved, your relationship to Mozilla
- Why open data now? (2 minutes)
- • More data than ever-- define types of data here
- • Pressure from funders, want more impact from data
- • The web as sharing/collaboration tool
- Data Management SNAFU Video (YouTube) (3 minutes)
- Instructor (3 minutes)
Topic 2: Think-Pair-Share Exercise
What is Open Data?
- Participants spend 2 minutes thinking of a definition and, if possible, supporting examples.
- Participants pair up to share and talk through their thoughts with another participant.
Depending on the size of the group, insights can be shared whole group or recorded on a white board, etherpad or other shared document.
- Once think-pair-share is complete, the instructor should help the group come to a definition (5 minutes)
Topic 3: Case Study Exploration
Group case studies allow participants to interpret and draw conclusions from the cases without instructor intervention; several cases can be discussed quickly.
Working together, students review a case to summarize the details and present any controversies involved in the case. Suggested cases:
• Reinhart and Rogoff (PDF)
• Celera and HGP (PDF)
Cases may be assigned prior to the session, if possible and preferable.
Instructors should select cases that have elements of controversy for good discussions.
Topic 4: Benefits of Open Data
Run through the seven benefits from Primer 1 (Why Open Data?), with brief explanations.
Topic 5: Challenges to open data
Participants practice responding to common challenges to opening data, and advocating for open data.
Instructor starts by asking group for challenges they’ve heard, suggests a few.
See “Common Challenges” document for challenges to mention, but give group a chance to come up with their own. Share the document AFTER the role-play.
Instructor assigns roles to participants using cards: each role has a position (for or against open data), a background (ie, administrator), and motivation (for example, publishing a first paper, getting more grants, making administrative tasks easier, getting a post-doc position, getting tenure).
Participants can ask for a blank card and make their own character/scenario if they’d prefer.
Participants pair up (pro with con/undecided) and do a 3 minutes role play conversation.
Ask for reflections/thoughts on how this felt, what did you learn, any insights.
Point users to the Challenges document as a guide for these conversations.
Topic 6: Resources and Wrap
Provide links to Primer 1, and other relevant resources.
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