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Sarah Danzl


Enterprise Content and Communications

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Curation 101: how to make sense of content overload


The digital revolution has given us greater access to content than ever before, but how do we ensure that learners are getting the best from their reading and research when there's so much out there? Curation is key. 

You and I are victims of content overload. Digital technology means there is more information available to us than ever before, to the tune of 4 million inquires on Google and 2.5 million posts on Facebook every minute.

Additionally, we seem to be rushing most of the time – to work, to pick up the kids, to finish that project by the deadline. It only makes sense that we would also rush our learning according to the path of least resistance. So how do we make the most of our ultimate limited resource - time?

Our answer? Simplify the experience, empower your employees to learn according to their needs, and harness the power of content curation.

Modern worker characteristics

Today’s workforce learns at work and beyond. The workplace is no longer linear, and neither are career paths or L&D.

According to a Degreed study, 67% of workers learn on personal time and 18% are learning during travel or commutes, and when they need to learn something new, they are most likely to ask their boss or mentor (69%) or their colleagues (55%) for recommendations, and 47% search the internet.

Quite literally, our workforce it taking learning into their own hands.

It’s time to change the way we all think about learning and curation so we can support the excitement and curiosity of all workers - quickly - in today’s workplace.

Self-directed learning is the new 21st century competency. Engaged employees, like you and I, need fast, quick answers in order to get work done, learn and grow every day. We need to do it for ourselves.

If we’re not learning every day – we’re cutting ourselves and our career progression short in this rapidly changing world. With all of the content that is out there, knowing where and how to find the right answers is the key.

Curation: why it’s good for learners

Curation is about access to the right information at the right moment of time. The art and science of curation is the ability to find, assemble and filter the best quality resources into a relevant learning experience.  

Curation allows the learner to self-direct their learning based on their needs (e.g. more info about a topic or skill ASAP) whether personal or professional. Instead of waiting for a defined training offering or learning agenda from their employer, learners are finding answers on their own.

For both the learner and the larger business, there are four main benefits to curation:

  1. Keep pace with the changing world: We all know L&D is too complicated, with too many platforms and too many vendors to manage. Cutting through the garbage means simplifying the experience, empowering employees to drive their own learning, and engaging them by providing a choice of learning through curation.
  2. Quickly get the right content, to the right people, at the right time: They key to curation is delivering the right content at the learner's moment of need. At Degreed this is done through pathways which are brief micro- learning experiences. The key is to deliver the right content to the right people by designing pathways which are personal, contextual and relevant to their needs.
  3. Produce new curriculums quickly: The ability to curate and develop learning experiences with existing content on the fly is good for the organisation and anyone responsible for learning and development, training or instructional design. You will see decreased development costs and quicker time to market for learning resources assembled through curation.
  4. Produce blended curriculums: Curation also allows businesses to produce more diverse learning options. Curation allows you to bridge formal and informal learning by creating a unique blend of external and internal resources in the form of pathways. The modern pathway to learning is social – social learning, curation and search.

Curation will give you and your organisation the ability to grow and scale. You can amplify your impact with less need for costly classroom training, more learning on-the-job through self-directed curation efforts, more learning through social curation with others, and more learning through on-demand resources from folks like you who support the training needs of your peers and organisation.

It will also engage employees, give them a choice of learning experiences and more opportunities to build a strong learning habit.

Bottom line:  It’s time to change the way we all think about learning and curation so we can support the excitement and curiosity of all workers - quickly - in today’s workplace. Given the data explosion and the rise in self-directed learning, content curation is mission critical.

Getting learners focused on timely, accurate, accessible information is not only good for the learners but good for business.

Interested in this topic? Read What are the five big problems with ‘free’ content?

Author Profile Picture
Sarah Danzl

Enterprise Content and Communications

Read more from Sarah Danzl

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