From Chaos to Clarity: Streamlining Training Content Curation
August 9, 2023
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This isn’t your first time hearing this, and it won’t be your last: outdated, boring training content doesn’t help employees learn or retain information.
Interactive learning and innovative training styles are more exciting and engaging for users and help learners retain information better, stay engaged, and have better results when training is over.
For example, microlearning can improve learners’ performances by 17 percent and boost engagement by 50 percent.
However, creating that high-quality training, with videos, graphics, interactive features, and more, takes a lot of resources. How do you keep your L&D team from reinventing the wheel with every training program?
The answer is training content curation. Leveraging content curation can help your L&D team save time and resources while still creating high-quality, engaging training materials.
In this post:
What is training content curation?
Curation is the act of selecting and organizing items into a collection. Museums employ curators to help them organize works of art into groups for display that are logical, based on artists or themes.
To curate training content, your L&D team would start to save and organize the various media they use to create a training course. For example, a video clip could be saved so that your team didn’t have to search for it in the future. So could graphics, infographics, stop motion videos, and more.
The L&D team plays a key role in centralizing the learning and training materials for an organization. Training content curation is a natural extension of this, saving everyone time and money.
Why is training content curation important for your L&D program?
As your team works to take advantage of training best practices, including interactive courses, microlearning, and more, you’ll need different types of materials to build training programs.
Where 30 years ago you might have created a printed workbook, today you create an online course with video, in-course mini quizzes, animation, and other assets. If you don’t keep track of those assets somehow, it’s challenging to use them again. Your team has to start from scratch every time.
Setting up a process for training content curation solves that problem and provides other benefits as well.
The internet has given us an explosion of information on everything from B2B sales to changing a tire, but not all of the information is helpful. Content overload can make it almost impossible for your L&D team to know where to start when looking for resources.
When you have a training content curation process in place, your team will gain a deeper understanding of what’s available and where the excellent resources are, and your learners will benefit from higher-quality, in-depth content.
Best of all, your L&D team will have more time for their core tasks. They won’t spend nearly as much time searching for the right assets to create engaging training courses because they’ll have various options available at their fingertips.
Training content curation best practices
How can you make content curation as effective as possible? There are three things your team can keep in mind.
Keep your target audience in mind
As you go through the available training content and decide what to keep and how to organize it, ensure you’re keeping your learners’ needs front and center.
Ask yourself these questions:
- What goals do you have for employee L&D?
- What do your learners need to get the point of a training module?
- What’s the best way to communicate?
Some organizations can go too far and overwhelm training courses by including too much information, content, and activity.
Focus on collecting and organizing the assets that help your learners absorb and apply concepts quickly.
Balance quality and quantity
You want to have enough assets to make your training courses effective, but not at the expense of high-quality information and presentation. Over time, your team will start to learn which websites and resources have the best information so you can focus your research efforts.
With the right high-quality assets, content curation can help learners fully understand concepts in less time.
Consider your platform
As you collect different types of content for your training program, ensure that it will work well with your training platform. A robust all-in-one learning platform like the Learning Cloud from WorkRamp makes this simple.
With the Learning Cloud, you can quickly deploy multiple types of content, easy-to-use prebuilt content is available for immediate use, and LMS integrations allow access to commonly-used training tools within the training ecosystem.
How to curate content
There are a variety of ways to curate content.
Five of the most popular include:
- Chronological curation
Depending on your needs, one or more of these strategies may be able to complement or improve your current processes.
Aggregation is one of the simplest and most straightforward methods of content curation. You gather various training assets and materials on a single topic in one place. In fact, there’s a good chance you already do this to organize your training content.
You can make it more intentional, however, by thinking about how you can get specific types of content, like video or infographics, into your collection. The more variety you have, the better courses your team can create.
Distilling is a content curation strategy that takes a large amount of material and sorts through it to ensure that only the most relevant and high-quality content is included in the collection. If you have used aggregation for a long time, it may be a good idea to distill what you currently have before you look for more training content.
Distillation is something that needs to be done regularly to ensure that you don’t include outdated or lesser-quality content in your training modules.
You can delete or archive the old content as you find better materials.
When you elevate your training content, you focus your materials on a specific trend you’ve noticed or identified in a particular area.
Sometimes these trends are noticeable in the social media discussion or news around a specific topic. There might be a new tool or a new method of approaching sales, relationship-building, or the specific processes involved in your company’s products or services.
At other times, you’ll notice that the training materials you collect around a topic have specific repeated themes. You might decide that these themes are important enough to be the focal point of your training in that area. You would then elevate those themes as you build your training courses.
When you use merging in content curation, you combine two or more sources to create a new perspective or approach on a topic. For example, you might use some well-known sales approaches alongside new ideas for building relationships on social media to create a course that helps your sales reps be adequate on new platforms.
Different approaches and points of view can help you create a holistic, best-practices approach to any topic you need to teach your teams.
When you use chronological content curation, you put all of your materials on a specific topic in order based on when they were published. This can help you see how best practices or common wisdom have changed over time or how technology has impacted a specific topic.
This can also help you understand how to use specific terms that are part of your industry— terms whose meanings may have changed over time. Different employees might understand terms differently depending on how long they’ve been in the business.
Content curation strategies
Implementing content curation for your L&D team will depend on your organization’s training needs and goals. These strategies will help you adapt the different curation approaches to your company’s priorities.
Focus on learners’ needs
As we mentioned earlier, the fanciest content curation process in the world won’t help you meet your goals if you don’t keep your learners’ needs in mind. The entire goal is to make training easier for your teams to access and retain.
Curation can help your L&D team create training courses that meet that goal.
Start curation in areas that can demonstrate the most gain
When you look at the totality of your training assets, it can be overwhelming to even think about how to begin curating your materials. One approach is to start with the topics where curation will have the most impact.
Many times, L&D teams already have materials loosely aggregated. That’s a start. From there, choose a topic where curation will significantly impact how effectively your team can create courses.
There are two ways to do this:
- Choose the most commonly-trained topic to curate and get assets in order
- Choose a small, easy-to-tackle topic that you can curate quickly and get immediate wins
Either way, you’ll have tangible results to encourage your team and show the value of your efforts to your leadership.
Use curated content in multiple ways
Curating your assets helps your L&D team create more effective training programs, but the assets can also be used in other ways.
Ask yourself if videos, graphics, or written content can be used to:
- Supplement existing training even if it’s not part of the official curriculum
- Provide just-in-time help to people struggling with a specific topic
- Encourage informal learning in bite-sized pieces
- Offer on-the-go learning on multiple devices
As you deploy content in various ways, you’ll have a more significant impact on your organization, and you’ll be able to test the effectiveness of different assets before your team builds a course around them.
Build training content creation into your regular processes
Tackling training content creation can be a lot like organizing your photos at home—it seems like a good idea, but you always find a reason to put it off. The only way to consistently benefit from content creation is to build it into your regular content processes.
When curation is simply part of what your team does when they encounter new resources and materials, it will be second nature, and your training assets will stay organized, high-quality, and up-to-date.
Examples of training content creation tools
Some of the content curation tools you can take advantage of give you a head start on your collection.
For example, you might find places to download or purchase high-quality materials. Other tools allow you to quickly find content on trending topics using AI, making it easier for you to locate high-quality content that your team can use.
Curate effective training content with the Learning Cloud
You need the right learning platform to curate, organize, and store training content for your L&D program. With the Learning Cloud, you can start with a library of prebuilt content, create engaging, customized training, and you easily connect various resources into multiple types of training for your teams.
Learn more about how the Learning Cloud can help you create the most effective training content for your teams. Contact us for a free personalized demo.
Complete the form for a custom demo.
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Anna SpoonerWorkRamp Contributor
Anna Spooner is a digital strategist and marketer with over 11 years of experience. She writes content for various industries, including SaaS, medical and personal insurance, healthcare, education, marketing, and business. She enjoys the process of putting words around a company’s vision and is an expert at making complex ideas approachable and encouraging an audience to take action.
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