With the rise of smartphones, most employees now have the ability to access information anytime and anywhere. According to research from the University of California, San Diego, the average person today consumes almost three times as much information as what the typical person consumed in 1960. The same is true for the modern learner – IDC research reveals the average employee spends about 9.5 hours every week hunting around for information. By curating content, you can help your organization's learners get the right training at the right time.
Not only does curation cut down on wasted time, but leading eLearning content provider OpenSesame has found that course utilization increases a staggering 50 percent when relevant courses are presented to learners. It makes sense when you consider that 80 percent of what Netflix members watch comes from Netflix recommendations.
Even when learning professionals agree that curation is critical, it doesn't always mean they know how to curate or feel they have the time to curate for their organizations.
So, where do you get started with learning content curation? Let's begin with the connection between curation and competencies.
Mapping content to organization-wide 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; and licensed competencies from organizations like Korn Ferry, SHRM or ATD.
A competency model is a collection of competencies that 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. Some organizations choose to use them as a general framework while others drill down further to specific job roles.
Curating courses to your organization's competencies is one of the best ways to get started with curation. You likely have already identified what skills and/or attributes the organization values and identified them as your competencies.
Instead of having a library of content and courses that simply "check the box" or are driven by requests from departments or individuals themselves, it is better to curate based on content that supports critical business areas and identified competencies.
Choosing the right eLearning content for your L&D program
Now that you've identified the topics or areas of training you need content for, how do you go about selecting – or trimming – content from your library?
1. Conduct a thorough training needs analysis
One of the biggest things that gets in the way of curation is lack of time that stems from being caught up in handling day-to-day training requests. To overcome this challenge, create a pragmatic approach to handling internal requests.
For example, by creating a form for content requesters to fill out, you can easily see how many and how often requests are coming in, which department has the greatest need, and spot trends in new skills or technical training required by your learners.
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 by?
- What is the ideal format for this training (length of time, delivery method, scored/proctored exam at the end)?
- Does the training need to be localized or translated?
- How will you measure the effectiveness of the training (passing quiz scores, less accidents on the job, better performance review scores)?
2. Enlist the support of a cross-functional project team
Top learning organizations are beginning to hire curation specialists to help manage their organization's content, but not everyone is lucky enough to have a dedicated person on their team who can review content, both old and new.
Here are a few ways to get others involved in content curation and help make the process 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." You can rotate monthly reviewer responsibility across your team.
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 be able to respond to learners' training requests more knowledgeably.
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
- Remote employee or employee who works in a different location than his or her team
- "Power user" of your learning management system (LMS) or learning content
- Employee who has very low learning content usage or has given critical feedback of it
Make sure to not enlist too many peer reviewers, as it's helpful to have a manageable-sized group that is representative of your organization's population. Also, be clear about the expectations and time commitment involved.
3. Be consistent in your content curation efforts
Curation is an ongoing process. This means regularly 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 consistent:
- Set aside 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 discussion with peers.
- Break down course feedback using different filters (experience level, department, delivery methods) to see if there are any underlying trends that can help you make adjustments in your course selections.
Note: No single piece of content will meet the needs of everyone (or even a majority) in your organization. Having variety in both the content and delivery method of courses that map to a single competency is ideal.
Engage your learners and boost business impact with quality content curation
Curating eLearning courses can seem like a time-consuming and overwhelming task, but it's a vital component to putting your people in the driver's seat of their own development experience to improve performance and drive better business outcomes. By implementing the tips from this article you can save time while also maximizing learning impact and building a high-impact learning content strategy.
Ready to get started?
The importance of learning content is undeniable. It's why customers around the world turn to the combined power of Saba's best-in-class talent development platform and OpenSesame's learning content.
Watch this video to see how Siemens relies on Saba and OpenSesame to drive eLearning adoption and boost productivity by providing employees with real-time access to cutting-edge learning content.
And for more great insights on how to increase eLearning utilization and employee engagement through better content curation, download this eBook!
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 helps you every step of the way, from finding courses, mapping them to your core competencies, and syncing them with your LMS to increasing utilization and improving your L&D programs. Contact Saba to learn more about OpenSesame.