How to Curate Content for eLearning



Photo by Taras Shypka on Unsplash

When creating a learning experience, it is common to think that you need to create each element of the learning. 

  • If you have an idea to film a leader talking about an organisational project—write a script and prepare to film. 
  • If you want to show learners how to be assertive—write out a list of actions that empower them to be assertive.
  • If learners need to know the components of a plane—record a plane engineer sharing this information. 
What our team has learnt is that sometimes the content we need has already been created. Content is available to the world and most importantly, available for inclusion in your learning project (#woot!). So before you create, identify what is already available to you.

Using resources that have already been created is also known as content curation. A definition of content curation is:

“The process of sorting through the vast amounts of content on the web and presenting it in a meaningful and organized way around a specific theme. The work involves sifting, sorting, arranging, and publishing information.” (Kanter, 2011).

Content curation can:

  • Save you time
  • Provide a variety of perspectives (through sharing a variety of resources)
  • Provide pathways for further learning
  • Provide quality resources to incorporate in your solution. 
These are our top tips for curating content.

1. Define the Intent

Before searching for resources to incorporate into your course, become very clear on the intent of the content required.

Ask yourself:

  • Is this nice to know or need to know?
  • How does this help me/learners achieve the business goal?
Once you are clear on your intent, you can start searching for what you need.

2. Consider Where to Look

Where you look for resources will depend on what you are looking for. From our experience, what we search for is categorised as being specific to the client’s company or not specific to the client’s company. 

If the project is specific to the client’s organisation, you could for example:

  • Look on the client’s YouTube channel. 
  • Look on the client’s website.
  • Look at the resources that the client has provided you.
If you still cannot find a resource that is fit for purpose, you could ask the client if the resource exists internally.

If the project is not specific to the client’s organisation, you could for example:

  • Look on Google.
  • Look on YouTube. 
  • Look in a library.
3. Assess the Quality

Whilst the content within a resource is important, the quality of the resource should also be considered. Imagine listening to a podcast that has fuzzy audio (#nothanks).

For example, if you have found a video:

  • Is the picture clear?
  • Is the audio clear?
  • Is the video duration suitable?
The last thing that you want is your learners to become frustrated and disengage with your course because the videos, audio or images are of poor quality or because a video goes for 58 minutes (#yawn).

4. Tap into the Experts

As instructional designers we are not always experts in what we train, we are experts at the process of creating the training itself. This means that it is likely that there will be others in the world who know more about the topic that you are training.

For example, if you were designing a course on leadership, rather than creating your own video scripts, activities and information screens on leadership, tap into the people who are known as industry leaders.

You could include:

One final tip: Always remember to reference curated content appropriately. ;)

That is it for this blog on content curation. We hope that you gained value from it and in turn use content curation to benefit your projects.

If you would like to discuss content curation for eLearning in further detail please do not hesitate to contact our passionate founder Kim via kim@belvistastudios.com or by connecting with her on LinkedIn.

References

Kanter, B. (2011). Content Curation Primer. Retrieved from http://www.bethkanter.org/content-curation-101/.

[Marc Yu]. (2019, January 17). Leadership Explained in 5 minutes by Simon Sinek [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZTyvbmW92M&

Vaynerchuk, G. (2019). 4 Leadership Strategies of Great CEOs. Retrieved from https://www.garyvaynerchuk.com/4-leadership-strategies-of-great-ceos/.

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