Why Content Curation Matters in Learning Development

June 13, 2017 in
By Stacy Cook

typical adult learning classroom with teacher in front of whiteboard

In the modern digital age, there is a proliferation of learning opportunities. In many ways, this is a good thing, but it can make it difficult for the right resources to reach the right people. Some learning solutions will work well for one group, while they may be unnecessary for different people in your organization.

This can lead to an inefficient learning environment, and it can also make it hard for people to find the resources that they need. In order to ensure that the right learning content is reaching its target audience, the content needs to be curated.

What is Content Curation?

As an organization that offers learning and training solutions, you have a wide array or mediums through which content can be delivered. In addition to that, you also have different types of content and topics that could be used for training.

Depending on your organization, you may have interactive learning resources, self-study platforms, video content, group learning offerings, instructor lead programs and a lot more. After that, you have the various materials and content offerings that go with these different delivery systems. When you have all of these learning resources, it can be a challenge to find which pieces go together to create a program for a specific purpose.

That is where content curation comes in. With content curation, you take all of these learning opportunities, and organize them in way that achieves different goals. In learning development, a content curator would evaluate the learning resources that you have, and then put the appropriate pieces together to ensure that they are available for various learning goals.

In essence, what you are doing with content curation is creating a curriculum for different groups of individuals. You analyze the learning needs of different groups, evaluate the available learning resources, and then package them together.

Why Content Curation Matters

So you have all of these learning resources, but they are unorganized and people do not know which ones they should use to achieve their goals. Content curation helps to solve this problem by putting the right resources together based on the intention of the learner. But why is this such an important part of successful learning development?

The first point is that content curation is a way of aligning your learning resources to the objective of your business. If you offer learning and training opportunities to your employees, it is safe to assume that you want them to reach a specific goal when they take advantage of these opportunities. You want them to gain a certain knowledge, learn a specific skill or become familiar with a new process. If the effort is successful, they can then use these skills to better achieve the objectives of your organization.

If you offer a broad array resources for learning and training, your employees may have a hard time finding the ones that will best help them to reach their objective. With content curation, you can deliver your employees with the resources that they need. As a result, you create a learning environment that is more efficient and more effective.

With content curation, you can also tailor the courses and the content to the needs of your employees. You may find that a specific group needs training for a specific process or you may find that when certain employees move to a new position, they need different learning resources that will help them to succeed in their new role.

If you carefully curate the educational content that you have, you can build the courses that will serve the people in your organization best, and by doing so, you are helping your organization as a whole. You can package different reference materials together, combine them with learning scenarios and provide examples of how all of the information will be relevant to the employee in their efforts to meet various goals.

Content curation also makes for learning that is more cost effective. It may require time and money to curate the content, but it will save the organization money over time. It makes the content more useful to the people that need it, and it helps to ensure that the learning resources will have a longer shelf life. In addition to that, the curated courses can also be reused and modified depending on the needs of your organization.

Consequences of Poor Content Curation

Having a wide array of learning resources is not enough. If people do not know which resources they need, it can affect the efficiency of the process, and it significantly limits the effectiveness of training and education within your organization.

As an example, an employee might know that they can improve their performance by learning about a specific subject matter. Your company may have all of the necessary resources to educate the employee, but if they are not organized and packaged for the purpose, the employee might not get the information or training that they need.

In this case, the company has spent the money on the right learning resources, but they are not getting the return because the employees do not know which ones are worth their time. If the content were properly curated, the employees would then be able to find all of the resources that they need for the specific learning objective.

Content curation can also save you money when you look to spend on new learning resources. When your content is organized and put together in a way that helps the learners to reach their goals, you will then be able to identify gaps in your resources, and you will also be able to identify areas where you already have all of the resources that you could need.

When content is properly curated for the audience, it ensures that you are able to get the best value for your training and learning budget. When employees or other individuals go to participate in the learning programs, they get exactly what they need for the objective, without wasting time on resources that are irrelevant.

Want to Learn More?

Transforming yourself from an instructional designer to a learning content curator can be a bit of a leap. But, you’re not alone. Next week, I’ll be presenting on this topic at the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Annual Conference in New Orleans, LA.

Want help curating the learning content in your organization? Reach out to FMP Consulting to set up a time to discuss your goals.