In a world of choice, less can be better than more
You have been tasked with developing recommendations and proposals for the best future eLearning content catalogue for your organisation. Sounds like a great opportunity for L&D! But (yes, there is always a but) are you daunted by the prospect? There is so much content out there that it can seen an insurmountable task to sift and filter through all the option to find just the right content for your organisation and learners.
Where do you start? What ‘science’ can you apply to the task in-hand to make it more meaningful and manageable? We can offer you a few simple suggestions to get you started.
What is your content curation methodology?
In principle, there are two key methodologies that are used to drive the content curation process:
1. Social/Collaborative – these methodologies are based on researching what others say about the content and how they rate content.
2. Semantic Analysis – this methodology is based on researching keywords relating to the subject.
In practice you will probably want to use a combination of both methodologies. For example, start by using semantic analysis to build a short-list of content that covers the subjects you are interested in and then use social or collaborative information resources to hone your selection choices.
Give people what they want!
Ask your learners specifically what learning they need, and don’t second guess. Are they looking for knowledge overviews or do they seek a deep-dive into subject areas? Are they looking for case studies of best practice and real-life scenarios? There is no substitute here for going out into your organisation and talking to learners and their managers.
Visualise your research outputs
Mind maps or similar visuals are a great way to capture the outputs of your qualitative research and to enable you to further analyse and decode your findings. Start by plotting the main subject areas of need and then flesh these out by identifying the more detailed learning objectives within them. You can use brainstorm sessions with a select group of champion learners or managers to work on this. Then add in your own thinking of how you can fulfil these requirements.
Identify credible sources of information
Your desk-based research will most probably be centred on internet research. Google is your best friend here, but it can also be your worst enemy serving you up poorly considered views and recommendation. First, you need to research and identify which are the credible sources of information for your list of subjects.
Budgetary constraints and purchase options
Matching your content requirements to your budget can sometimes be a challenge, but it can often be achieved by “mixing and matching” various purchase and licensing options. It is not always the case that an annual “all you can eat” license represents best value for money (you may find yourself inadvertently paying for content that you don’t actually need, funding a high cost-per-user, and still having to source additional content to fill any gaps). Look at the cost difference between buying access to a course library and buying a quantity of enrolments for individual courses, and perhaps buying a bit of both. Using a smaller number of suppliers across the board will usually provide a better economy of scale, so that is factor also.
Build a learning plan
For your own benefit first, develop a learning plan that details the learning plan and learning outcomes that will be delivered for each of the key subject areas with reference to the specific learning resources that support each defined learning outcome. Later on, this can be developed into guidance for your learners, either as defined learning paths in your LMS or as supplementary learning guides.
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