Six Tips for Content Curation

Written by Kim Oates on January 2014

Are you an instructional designer or someone who develops training? Do you find yourself wading through content trying to determine what to include and what to ignore? Our senior instructional designer, Stacy Friedman, recently wrote an article for Learning Solutions Magazine that grounds the concept of content curation and provides some great tips, as well as some pitfalls to avoid.

  1. Diversify: Get beyond the single-learning-event model. Instead of predictable, templated eLearning courses, gather video demos, create practice activities, recommend articles for further learning, and attach spec sheets for performance support later.
  2. Share the sharing. Students are curious and want to consult with their peers; encourage information exchange through wikis, commenting features, and chat functions. Moderate if necessary or have an SME do it.
  3. Remember quality control. You may not create all the content for the learners, but hold onto your standards. Avoid presenting information that’s amateurish, low in production value, or akin to shovelware.
  4. Be cohesive. Even when curating top-notch content, a lurking pitfall is the patchwork learning solution. For example, be mindful of your client’s style guide and make sure none of your chosen materials violates those standards. Design the training’s scaffolding (such as navigation and graphics) to give learners a consistent experience, even with a variety of content types.
  5. Be authentic. Curation works best when readers see the curator as a credible proxy for their own tastes and preferences. Engage learners with user-centered design, and user-test to get insights into their behavior.
  6. Explore the Experience API. Want to know what learners are reading outside your course? Look into Experience API (xAPI). If you haven’t yet investigated the possibilities of this new specification, start here. By capturing a learning record store of your learners’ activities, xAPI provides insight about what content learners find useful, which could shape your curation efforts.

You can read the full article here. What tips do you have?


Photo credit: Glyn Lowe Photoworks on Flickr



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