Training Materials

These training materials were developed by the DDI Alliance Training Working Group, whose mission involves introducing people to DDI and improving people's competence in working with DDI. Only training slides approved by the DDI Alliance are made available here (and archived on Zenodo).

For DDI training materials created by others, please see the Zenodo DDI Training community.

How to Use the DDI Training Materials

Introduces the DDI Training Materials, including the intended audiences, ways to re-use the materials, how to cite their use, and tips for creating new materials.

DDI Basics: What is Metadata?

This is a brief module introducing the basic concept of metadata and describing the different types of metadata at the highest possible level. This is useful as an insert in a longer introduction.

DDI Basics: What is DDI?

This is a brief general introduction to the major work products (DDI Codebook, DDI Lifecycle, etc.) and a description of what they do and who uses them, and the benefits which result.

DDI for Librarians, Archivists and Metadata Managers

A general introduction to the issues and applications of the DDI standards, aimed at users who are primarily concerned with documenting and managing collections of existing data. The theme is that rich, standard, machine-actionable metadata is needed to meet the growing demands for data.

DDI Codebook, DDI Lifecycle, and DDI Cross Domain Integration: Use Cases and Objectives

A presentation of the differing functionality supported by different DDI work products, and the process of deciding which is best suited for a specific implementation. Includes a checklist exercise (DDI-C vs DDi-L.xlsx).

Variables and the Variable Cascade

Introduces one of the core features of DDI Lifecycle and DDI Cross Domain Integration, the nuanced model of variables as they perform different functions within data sets and between them: the “variable cascade”.


Presents the way in which DDI Lifecycle structures and describes questions, and how they can be organized for reuse

Introducing Question and Instrument Structures

Presents the way DDI Lifecycle organizes questions into questionnaires (“instruments”) and how flow logic can be described. Includes a presentation of which parts of a question are reusable, and the different types of representation questions can have. There is some duplication with the “Questions” deck, but this is a more detailed presentation.

Representations – Codes and Categories

This deck introduces the way that codes, code lists, classifications, and categories are modeled in DDI, and highlights the differences between DDI Codebook and DDI Lifecycle. It also describes the way DDI applies these constructs to describe variables and question response domains.

DDI Identification and Versioning

Presents the DDI approach to the composition of identifiers, and approaches to handling versioning. Also looks at related types of “based on” relationships. Provides a use case to illustrate issues around versioning.

Studies, Data Sets, and Data Files: Describing Collections of Data with DDI

This deck covers the potentially confusing relationship between studies, the data sets they produce, and the way those data are organized into files for storage and use.