“Plenty” is a problem.
According to findings from the High-Impact Learning Organization study by Bersin by Deloitte, employees find it most difficult to learn, NOT because there isn’t enough content, but because there is TOO MUCH of it, and they cannot find what is valuable.
Enter content curation.
Many future-focused organizations have adopted content curation as one of their L&D strategies. It is time you did too!
Content curation delivers your learners from the hassle, pain, and frustration of trying to wade through a sea of content to find what they need and what is relevant to their wants. The learning journey becomes smooth, and learners are more motivated to learn.
In this article, you'll learn what is content curation, and why it is critical, now more than ever before. Learn how to be an effective content curator who makes life easy for learners and the various strategies for curating content.
If you have never curated content before, then this post is your one-stop place to learn all about it.
What is Content Curation?
As Bersin by Deloitte defines, content curation is both an art and a science. It deals with identifying the most relevant information for a specific group of target audience and contextualizing and organizing it before presenting it to them.
It is an effective way of mining information that makes relevant data readily available to learners. Learners are spared the need to hunt around for content or read through mountains of irrelevant information to find what they need.
Curation is the art/science of identifying the best information for the organization and providing context and order to it. - Bersin by Deloitte
Prevents Wastage of Learner Time
According to the IDC, the average employee spends about 9.5 hours every week just hunting around for information. By curating content, you help willing learners get access to valuable information that is worth their time and attention.
The Process of Curating Content
From the looks of it, it may seem as if content curation is just scooping up articles, podcasts, posts, courses, and videos from around the web and dishing them to learners. You are wrong. Content curation is not rocket science, but you cannot make a slapdash job of it either.
You have to make sure that you follow some steps:
- Aggregating: This refers to searching for and collecting information from multiple sources.
- Filtering: This means sifting through mountains of data to zero in on the most relevant piece of information that will serve learner needs exactly.
- Organizing: This means chunking the content to impart logic and structure. This aids learning by easing comprehension.
- Contextualizing: This refers to enhancing the value of the content by adding your own comments, title, a brief explanatory note or an overview, more information, and/or tags. Contextualizing helps learners glean more from the content you have presented to them. So ensure that your message contains the what’s-in-it-for-me information, how the content is relevant to learner needs and the overarching learning goals, how the information will help them in the workplace, and what can learners expect from the data. You can also use this space to direct learners to other resources to obtain additional information.
- Sharing: Sharing does not just mean putting up a blog post or organizing a training session to educate your audience. Content curation is effective when you share the resources with the right group of learners, just when they are searching for the information, and on channels that they can readily access.
- Storing and Archiving: You need to store, catalog, and archive the curated content to facilitate easy future reference. You need to be able to access this content if you want to update the information. Your audience should be able to make their way through mounds of information to find easily what they are looking for. Tagging is critical. AND, make sure that you have guidelines in place, so different content curators are on the same page when they name the files or use specific words within the contextual information.
- Receiving Feedback: Actively seek feedback from learners. The insights you have will help you provide more focused and meaningful content in future.
Learning Cafe and Knowledge Working, summarized this process pretty well in this session.
Content Curation Strategies
Like all other methods of the trade, content curation too is most effective when you follow some proven success strategies.
Here are some that work:
- Let learners take the lead. Let your audience do all the legwork; give them the power to rate or vote content based on relevance. Create a framework where the most-voted or the highest-rated content has the greatest visibility, so more people get to know about it. You can incorporate nifty “social” features like providing learners with the ability to build communities around shared interests or follow each other and check out what others are excited about.
- Turn your course into a portal that opens to a world of information. You can create an eLearning course that actually works like a content management system and guides learners by linking to a database of curated content, organized according to the subject, job responsibilities, and department.
- Consider creating a curated "Resources" page. A Resources page at the end of the course can direct learners to additional information. These links can be both internal and external resources that you trust will deliver valuable content, consistently. Ensure that you describe briefly what each link is about, so learners know what to expect. However, if you are not too comfortable with the idea of placing links within your course, you can link to a separate Resources page on the intranet.
- Evolve continuously. As an eLearning designer, you know how critical it is for you to keep learning, growing, and innovating. As a content curator too, you have to keep refining your strategies. Take cues from learner feedback. Pay heed to evolving business needs and changing training requirements. Stay on top of marketing, multimedia, and content management and delivery trends so that you can offer engaging and valuable content to learners.
As eLearning designers, you have to step out of the mindset that your job is only to “teach.” As a content curator, your job is to facilitate learning by being the bridge that connects learners to relevant content. Just as museum curators open up a hidden and unknown world of art to the naïve public, a content curator leads his audience to a world of relevant and valuable information.
Content Curation for Learning. The Complete Guide from Anders Pink. Download here.