Virtual Training in Scientific Data Management for Post-Graduate Students Using R Programming Language

The Scientific Data Management (SDM) training for Post-Graduate Students Using R was conducted online, due to the COVID-19 challenges. This was the first of its kind with the aim of enhancing the ability of academic participants to analyze data with R programming language and report research findings in a format that would ensure wide dissemination of information in peer reviewed journals and also inform policy. R programming language was chosen because it is a free statistical programming language majorly used among statisticians and data miners. Prior to the training, a needs assessment was conducted and results indicated that participants had various difficulties regarding data management and statistical data analysis using R. When the training was advertised online, there were 1797 participants who registered for the training. About 957 University staff, researchers and postgraduate students attended the first day of training, number of participants kept on oscillating between 700 to 875 that participated in R SDM training. This indicated the need for the training and also that SDM can be conducted virtually to facilitate graduate research and publication. The training had a blend of theory and practical with more emphasis placed on hands on computer exercise using R programming Language. Participants were in agreement that the training came at the right time and the course content covered and approaches used by facilitators during the training were appropriate and relevant. However, the time was not enough to cover many areas and therefore it was suggested by participants that there was a need for a follow up training. The participants appreciated SDM training offered virtually and also indicated they would put the knowledge learnt into practice during their research work. Based on suggestions provided by participants on how to improve the course and facilitator’s observations as well as past experience, a follow up SDM training using R was recommended. Keywords: R programming, RUFORUM, Virtual training
Date of publication: 
Region Focus: 
East Africa
RUFORUM Working document series
Licence conditions: 
Open Access
Access restriction: 
Web resource