Learning content curation:
           1. What does it consist of? 🤔
           2. Why it’s useful🤩
           3. How does it work🦾
           4. How to get started 🚀

What is e-learning content curation?🤔

E-learning content curation is simply the systematic search, sorting and sharing of content deemed relevant by one or more individuals. 

It’s no secret that the amount of information and content available for free on the Internet is increasing dramatically. And while this free content is now ingrained in our habits, it can sometimes be difficult to find and rationalize it all.

As a company, there are however strategies to take advantage of this “open” content. Whether it’s through automation or sharing, companies of all sizes can find relevant news articles, blogs, webinars, white papers, YouTube videos or podcasts that enrich their learning environment.

While content curation involves the orderly integration of external content into your learning environment, it is also possible for content to be generated internally with a User Generated Content (UGC) and User-Curated Content (UCC) approach.

These two concepts are complementary. 

They help bridge the time between a need for training on a particular topic and the creation of formal training on it. This metric is called Time to learn or supply versus demand. They also allow for the combination of non-organization specific training with organization specific training.

They also allow easy access to content on issues that are not very common.  Issues that only concern a few employees and for which it would not be profitable to invest time (internal or external trainer) in producing content.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at these two concepts and give you some tips to get started. For more context, you can also refer to our article on formal and informal training.

Why content curation is useful 🤩

You guarantee the continuity of your employees’ learning process.

They can, for example, complement formal training with articles, tutorials or other formats.

Learners can be recommended content to complement formal training according to the forgetting curve.

Also, they can easily be aware of the latest innovations and developments in their field of expertise. How can this be done? By having several trusted sources of content via referenced sites, and by automatically proposing content on topics related to the training to a person in charge of curation.

This way, the time of the expert trainers and L&D is freed up (with regard to content creation) and the shorter time can be allocated to more value-added by selecting things already recommended.

You improve the use and engagement of your learning environment

By rewarding the sharing of information, you will be able to give a social dimension to your learning, identify and value your business experts, and offer a greater variety of content formats to your learners.

You will use learning methods and tools that are naturally appealing. Tools that your learners use on a daily basis, both at work and outside (Google, Youtube, press, podcasts…). This way, each employee feels valued by his peers by offering quality content and being recognized for his expertise.

In the same way as for automation via trusted sources, it is quite possible to add a validation process of the resources created by the end users before a more massive sharing. But just as it is utopian to do an a priori moderation of messages posted on social networks, we advise you to let the community of learners of your company to judge the production itself via likes / comments. In this case, immediacy is important. Thus, the less qualitative UGC will naturally be pulled down while the others can be reviewed monthly and added to the company’s “formal” training programs.

Finally, UGC allows managers and experts to share content, best practices and methods with their teams.

Learning content curation : how does it work?🦾

There are two main approaches to content curation.

The bottom-up approach and the top-down approach. Each comes with its own advantages and disadvantages and they are not mutually exclusive. It is also quite possible to combine the two.

The bottom-up approach☝️

The bottom-up approach, which could also be called the collaborative approach, involves your learners and L&D managers finding and sharing content. For this, you need a tool that allows sharing. A tool that is integrated with content sources like Youtube, Spotify for podcasts, Google for articles…

It has the advantage of being, as its name suggests, more collaborative, more social. This approach creates more engagement with your learners. It encourages sharing and helps create a true culture of learning and excellence within your organization. It allows for better information sharing within the organization.

That said, in order to take full advantage of curation, the content must be well organized and tagged. This way, a recommendation engine can easily recognize the content and provide relevant recommendations. Although it is possible to tag content manually, depending on the size of your organization, it can quickly become complicated to maintain a large catalog.

The top-down approach 👇

The top-down approach consists in the company doing the curation. This can be done manually or outsourced but it can also be automated. There are many technological tools that can help us.

For example, some of them scan the web and do semantic analysis on the content to identify the topics covered. Then, they integrate the ones that interest you into your learning environment.

learning curation

How to get started? 🚀

Getting started is very simple, many tools are available to make your job easier.

Before you start looking for tools, it is essential to define your curation strategy. You can ask yourself the following questions to help you think about it:

  • What is my goal in integrating curation?
  • How do I integrate User Generated Content (UGC)?
  • What is the best approach for my organization (bottom-up, top-down)?
  • How will I measure the quality of contributions?

As an example, here is one of the things we do at Bealink to not only make curation easier but also to make it more impactful.

The platform allows learners to share content, add it to playlists, view content shared by colleagues. You can follow experts within the organization, create microlearning content…The content is indexed using a semantic analysis tool. This is the bottom-up approach.

Bealink also allows you to integrate automated curation tools such as Anders Pink into the environment for better monitoring and more diversity, or to automatically integrate content from RSS feeds into playlists. It is also possible to index sources such as the intranet and company documents. Thus, both approaches are used according to the principle of contextual learning and Learning in the Flow of Work. This is the top-down approach.

Happy curation! 😉