Webinar Highlights: Curation for Learning – What it is, why it matters and how L&D can make it happen
In today’s day and age, there is no shortage of valuable content out there. But sifting through so much content can be overwhelming – particularly for L&D professionals, who require content in order to create learning assets. And for this reason, a process known as content curation can be so valuable. Content curation involves discovering, gathering and sharing content that is relevant to your target audience. This way, you don’t have to always create your own novel content, but can leverage content that already exists.
Because of the important role that content curation plays in digital learning, this week’s webinar was about all things content curation. And who better to speak on this topic than our friends from Anders Pink, a leading AI-powered content creation tool. Anders Pink Co-Founder, Stephen Walsh, and Managing Director, Michelle Hazelton shared everything you need to know about what content curation is, why it matters and how your L&D team can start leveraging the power of content curation. Keep reading to discover the highlights from the webinar.
Learn more about Content Curation in our Professional Diploma in Digital Learning Design
Why does content curation matter more than ever?
Anyone following headlines, blogs and social media will see that continuous skills development in the workplace is a hot topic. And content curation is a way to more effectively and efficiently provide employees with skills development and learning opportunities. Below are some stats that show why skills development is so vital:
- Recent LinkedIn data shows that the skills sets for jobs have changed around 25% since 2015 – and by 2027 that number is expected to double.
- In addition to digital skills, specialised interpersonal skills will be in high demand in the new hybrid workplace.
- Companies that focus on upskilling, and excel at internal mobility, are able to retain employees for an average of 5.4 years. Those that don’t have an average retention of 2.9 years.
- L&D rank upskilling as a priority, but not retention or internal mobility – need to join the dots in the great reshuffle.
What are business leaders saying about L&D?
As previously mentioned, learning and development is more important than ever. But you shouldn’t just take our word for it. Below are some thoughts that business leaders have about the competitive advantage of L&D:
- ‘In a world of rapid change and increasing complexity, the winners will be those whose rate of learning is greater than the rate of change, and greater than the rate of their competition’. – Tom Hood
- ‘If we don’t each spend 5-10 hours a week staying on top of the firehose of new information, mark my words, in three years, we’ll be managing decline’. – Randall Stephenson, CEO AT&T
- ‘How can we build a culture of learn-it-alls as opposed to know-it-alls?’ – Satya Nadella, CEO Microsoft
- ‘Learnability is the key skill. We hunt for learning animals’. – Eric Schmidt, Ex-Chairman Google
Time and budget are against us
One of the primary goals of L&D professionals is to create a culture of lifelong learning and continuous skills development. However, there is often a dearth of time and budget to create or commission all of the content. After all, sifting through millions of sources to determine what is useful is highly time-consuming. But at the same time, obtaining valuable content is key to delivering an effective learning experience.
Below are some stats from LinkedIn Workplace Learning Trends that show the discrepancy between how much employees want to develop and how much time they have to actually do it:
- 94% of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their career
- The top reason employees feel held back from learning is because they have the time
As we can see, workers are generally hungry to develop and learn more. But although finding relevant external content has high value, it is also time-consuming. Below are some further stats from the IDC that show how workers currently prefer to learn:
- 60% of learners say they learn more from external sources than courses
- 70% find external web sources essential or very useful (47% for eLearning)
- Knowledge workers spend 9.5 hours a week looking for information
According to the Jane Hart Workplace Learning Survey, learners want more development opportunities within the workflow. They value on the job learning, short web-based resources and collaboration. They place a lot less value on classroom training and eLearning courses. So it’s vital that L&D reskills themselves in order to support how workers prefer to learn.
How curation can help us all to continuously learn
L&D teams typically already have an array of learning assets, such as job aids, PDFs or videos, – which are great resources when they are relevant. Many organisations also have licensed assets at their disposal as well. This is typically where many people get started with content curation.
However, even with the owned assets and licensed assets, there is still an extensive amount of content that L&D professionals are missing out on. And while some of your existing content is highly relevant, some is not. And this is why content curation is so important. Below is a quote from Rohit Bhargava that explains what content curation actually is:
‘A content curation is someone who continually finds, groups, organises and shares the best and most relevant content on a specific issue online. The most important component of this job is the word, continually’.
5 steps for content creation
It’s vital for L&D professionals to look outside of the organisation for content that can be useful. The three qualities of content you should be looking for are: recent, relevant, and aligned to the skills that matter to your teams.
There are vast amounts of free or ‘freemium’ content that is already out there on the web. Therefore why build a course on a topic when most of the content is already out there? This way, you can just frame it and bring it in, saving time and staying up-to-date. Below is a five-step process to help you get started with content curation:
- Know your audience
The first step when curating content is defining and understanding your audience. Keep reading to learn how to get to know your audience.
Choose a target audience
When building a curation practice, it’s important to narrow your audience down. You don’t want to curate for everyone all the time. It’s a good idea to first consider the people in your organisation who are driven to stay up-to-date. For example, client-facing teams, such as sales teams usually have a hunger and a need to know what is happening in the industry.
Consult with them: Be a content concierge
Once you’ve defined the audience, determine what they want by asking them:
- What kinds of content do you want? Longform articles, how-to-blog posts, videos?
- Where do you want it from? A narrow set of your preferred sites and sources, or a broad range from the top 100 sales and business sites?
- Where do you want it? In a channel in Teams/Slack, in a weekly round-up email, as a live feed in a specific area in your learning platform? 5 articles a day, 5 a week.
- Seek and filter efficiently
Once you’ve gotten to know your target audience, you can start the process of searching for content. Fortunately, there exists advanced forms of technology that can help with this. So let machines do the work for you to avoid getting ‘content shock’. Algorithms can help with the seeking and sorting to make the process more efficient. You can also use your own set of rules and filters.
- Make sense
After seeking and filtering content, you can begin to start making sense of it all and putting it to use. Below are ways to get the most out of the curated content:
Curate your insights, not just content
Curation should be contextual. Therefore, it’s important to make it relevant for your audience. Some questions to ask yourself are: What did you learn? Why does this matter? Who would this help?
Provoke and challenge – be social
Make the content dynamic and interactive through asking questions, adding commentary and starting a conversation. You can involve SMEs and teams, and use saved folders to add your insights.
Make connections and collections
Utilise the power of social learning through building a knowledge base, involving others and building collective intelligence and a culture of contribution. You can also make it easy for people to get involved by using clear recommendations and sequencing.
- Share where they’ll care
There is no point in curating content if it won’t be seen or consumed by your audience. Keep reading to learn how to determine where in the ecosystem the content should live:
Go where the eyeballs are
A rule of thumb for content is to ‘go where the eyeballs are’. Make the content easy for people to find. This may be in more than one place and could include any portals, such as your LMS/LXP, Slack or MS Teams.
Use smart integrations
Copy and pasting content is time consuming. So you want to automate this step through using smart integration. Connectors and integrations can speed things up to get your content where it needs to be with minimal effort.
- Build a habit
Content curation is not a one-and-done activity. It must be continually done on a regular basis. However, the regularity of content curation will vary depending on the organisation and team.
Curation is continuous – build a habit
Share on a regular basis that is sustainable for your team and audience, e.g. five articles a week. You can tie this into your portal management plans and invite others to contribute and comment. This makes it a shared activity.
Get feedback and refine
Get feedback by asking your audience what is the most useful for them? This way you can update sources and keep refining content over time.
How can Anders Pink help with content curation?
You may be wondering why you wouldn’t just Google the topics you want to use? Well, the main benefit of Anders Pink is the time-saving element. If you want to do content curation, you’ll need to cover a breadth of sources and types of content – which will need to be scalable.
Since Anders Pink is not optimised for SEO, the tool does not look for how often a keyword appears. Instead, it looks for elements that are more important for learning. This enables you to be able to quickly and easily find valuable, relevant content.
The tool also includes an interface for a creator, administrator or SME – which allows for easy collaboration. The SMEs can create a briefing, which is a feed of content on a topic, skill or industry. The content that can be chosen within Anders Pink is highly relevant, with most content having been published within the past three months. A briefing is also live and is updated automatically on a daily basis.
Anders Pink crawls millions of sources and you can use keywords within the Anders Pink tool to search for topics you need. Once you’ve created a briefing, you can plug it into other platforms and tailor it to learners based on their profile settings. You’re also able to vote on articles that are relevant and not relevant so that you get a feed tailored to what you need.
Below are some examples of popular ways that Anders Pink is used within organisations:
- Growth, development and transformation: An HR team needs to build a hybrid-working strategy. They need to quickly find out about industry best practice. An Anders Pink briefing can be built in minutes, surfacing the information needed to develop a successful strategy.
- Respond to the skills emergency: An L&D team needs to upskill and reskill their workforce. How to achieve that at a scale, at pace and within budget? Within Anders Pinks’ skills based briefings, articles provide advice and guidance on how to gain and develop the skills needed for the future.
- 21st century leadership: Leaders need to be able to quickly and easily access thought leadership on the skills and behaviours needed to be a successful leader in the 21st century. Anders Pink brings together the best content from the most highly regarded leadership sites and sources.
- Power sales teams with industry insights: Give sales teams the insights and knowledge they need to uncover opportunities, keep pace on market and industry developments and be successful.
- Foster a learning culture: L&D teams want to nurture a learning culture and encourage continuous learning. Access to relevant, up-to-date, fresh content at the point of need and where your learners are working is key.
- Keep up-to-date on fast moving sectors: Recruitment and management consultants need to keep their finger on the pulse to best support their clients. Anders Pink helps them stay ahead of the game.
From this webinar, it is clear to see the value of content curation in digital learning. If you’re interested in learning more about the Anders Pink tool, you can check out their website or reach out to Stephen or Michelle.
Another great way to learn more about content curation is through obtaining a Professional Diploma in Digital Learning Design from Digital Learning Institute. With this course, you won’t only learn how to curate and work with learning content, but also fast-track your career.