How to Curate the Right Content for Your LMS

Guest Contributorby Diane Haines | Posted | Learning

How to Curate the Right Content for Your LMS

When you hear the word "curator," you may think of a museum or someone who works with art. But in L&D, curators are sorely needed. Some of us are doing this already (minus the fancy title!). By curating content, you can help your organization's learners get the right training at the right time.

The average employee spends about 4.5 hours every week hunting around for information, according to the 2012 IDC Information Worker Productivity Survey. Not only does curation cut down on wasted time, but OpenSesame has found that course utilization increases 50 percent when relevant courses are presented to learners.

So, where do you get started with curation? Let's begin with the connection between curation and competencies.

Curation and competencies

A competency is a set of defined behaviors that provide a structured guide to identify, evaluate, and develop specific behaviors in individual employees. There are many different competency sets adopted by organizations such as "SKAs" (Skills, Knowledge and Abilities), value-based competencies, or licensed competencies from organizations such as Korn Ferry, SHRM or ATD.

A competency model is a collection of competencies which define the skill and knowledge requirements of a specific job. Competency models are typically built from a pre-set list of common, standard competencies and then customized to the specific needs of an organization.

Curating courses to your organization's' competencies is one of the best ways to get started with curation.

Pro tip: Instead of having a library of content and courses that simply "check the box" or one that is driven by one-off requests, it is better to curate based on content that supports critical business areas and identified competencies.

How to curate for program success

Now that you've identified the topics or areas of training you need content, here's how to go about selecting content (or trimming it!):

1. Get organized

One of the biggest things that gets in the way of curation is "lack of time" and being caught up in handling day-to-day training requests. Create a pragmatic approach to handling internal requests such as creating a form for content requesters.

Some questions for your training needs analysis might include:

  • What competency or job role does this training support?
  • How many people need this training?
  • When do you need this training to be delivered and completed?
  • What is the ideal format for this training (length of time, delivery method, scored/proctored exam at the end)?
  • How will you measure the effectiveness of the training (Passing quiz scores, less accidents on the job, better performance review scores)?

2. Don't go it alone

Some top organizations are hiring curation specialists. If this isn't doable, here are a few ways to get others involved in curation and help make curation manageable long term:

Start by evaluating any piece of content that has not been used, updated or published within a set time frame. (We recommend 6 to 12 months).

  • Label if the content should be retired, updated or kept in your library.
  • Keep on a monthly cadence for evaluating the content that is older than your "expiration date."

Enlist the help of your eLearning content vendors.

  • Ask your eLearning content vendors for help mapping their content to your competencies.
  • Ask them to review their content roadmap with you to help you stay ahead of trends and requests

Create peer review panels. Whether you are looking at new content or evaluating existing content, you want to have a mix of perspectives. Look at setting up a quarterly content review panel that includes a variety of "personas," such as:

  • New employee who is also new to the workforce
  • New employee who is experienced in the workforce
  • A remote employee or employee who works in other location or job site than you and/or your team
  • "Power user" of your LMS or learning content
  • Employee who has very low usage or has given critical feedback of learning content

3. Always be listening (and learning)

Curation is an ongoing process. This means consistently honing and adjusting your eLearning "collections" and incorporating more than just internal feedback on curation.

Here are a few "time-friendly" ways to keep your curation efforts on an ongoing basis:

  • Set 30 minutes on your calendar each month to read up on industry news and job trends. Take notes about key themes or emerging buzzwords.
  • Engage in hallway and informal discussions with peers.
  • Break down course feedback using different filters (experience level, department, delivery methods) to see if there are any underlying trends to help you make adjustments in your course selections.

Next stop: great curation

Curating eLearning content can be a time-consuming and overwhelming task that often gets overlooked in L&D programs. But with a thoughtful curation strategy plus careful organization, enlisting the help of your team and your eLearning content vendor, harnessing the power of your learning content is within reach. With a solid plan in place, your employees will spend less time searching and more time taking courses and enriching their learning journeys at work.

This "How-To" article was brought to you by OpenSesame. With the most comprehensive catalog of eLearning courses from the world's top publishers, OpenSesame is here to help you every step of the way, from finding courses, mapping them to your core competencies, syncing them with your LMS to increasing utilization and improving your L&D programs. Contact Saba to learn more about OpenSesame.

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