UMMS Affiliation

Lamar Soutter Library; National Network of Libraries of Medicine New England Region (NN/LM NER)

Publication Date


Document Type



Curriculum and Instruction | Library and Information Science | Online and Distance Education


The Best Practices for Biomedical Big Data project is a two year collaboration between Harvard Medical School and University of Massachusetts Medical School, funded by the NIH Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) Initiative for Resource Development. The Best Practices for Biomedical Research Data Management Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) provides training to librarians, biomedical researchers, undergraduate and graduate biomedical students, and other interested individuals on recommended practices facilitating the discoverability, access, integrity, reuse value, privacy, security, and long term preservation of biomedical research data. This poster highlights lessons learned from the first year of this project.

Built upon the New England Collaborative Data Management Curriculum, the development team sought to use existing curricular materials to create a fully online course. The course is designed with an open course platform, WordPress Learning Management System (WPLMS), in order to facilitate broad access. Each of the MOOC’s nine modules is dedicated to a specific component of data management best practices and includes video lectures, presentation slides, research teaching cases, readings, activities, and interactive quizzes.

The project team overcame multiple challenges related to creating an open online course: curriculum, audience and software.

Working towards overcoming these, the Best Practices for Biomedical Research Data Management MOOC development team has moved slowly and deliberately, created additional content, and added content experts to provide guidance. These lessons learned will assist course development beyond this project, adding to best practices for creating massive open online courseware. Lessons learned include: teaching method influences the curriculum and content should not be developed in isolation from the teaching method; content is dependent on audience and supplementary content can be used to bridge audience gaps; and implementing new or unfamiliar technologies is challenging so allow more time in the timeline for project team to work with open source platform.


BD2K_AHM, workforce development, training, curriculum development, biomedical data, research data management, online course, MOOC

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DOI of Published Version



Biomedical Research Data Management Open Online Education: Challenges and Lessons Learned

Journal/Book/Conference Title

2016 Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) All Hands Meeting


Presented at the digital poster session at the Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) All Hands Meeting, November 2016.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.