Why your L&D strategy needs learning curation

stack of books with top one open

Why should you curate learning?

Learning is no longer a “nice-to-have” but has become a “must-have”. Unfortunately, skills have a shelf-life, and formal training isn’t always as up-to-date as we need it to be. Curated content helps feed this hunger for continuous learning and development and adds recent, up-to-date, fresh content.

Learning curation leads to flexible learning

Learning curators often create microlearning experiences, chunked into categories or learning paths. Microlearning can fit into our schedule more easily than formal training, allowing learners to take in bite-sized chunks of information when and where they want.

Learning curation saves L&D professionals time and money

Learning curation is also a more cost-effective solution when compared to creating workshops and materials from scratch. It doesn’t only fit better into the schedule of learners but also often better matches the budget and time constraints of L&D departments.

What is learning curation

When creating learning experiences, there are different ways of doing so, some involving more work than others. We can think of these different methods as existing on a spectrum, with creation on one end (you’re doing everything yourself, like creating a virtual workshop from scratch) and aggregation on the other hand (you’re not creating anything, and you might even use a machine to find and aggregate content for you, providing no additional context). Curation lies in the middle. Content is collected and aggregated, but then a human, not an algorithm, makes decisions about quality and relevancy. Ideally, additional context and commentary are added, and perhaps only a fraction of the original is displayed directly, with a clear link to the source included. This helps learners understand why something is relevant to them and ultimately helps them to conceptualise and apply this new information.

How does learning curation work?

Curating learning is more than just collecting articles and sending them out to your learners. Experienced learning curators collect, categorise, evaluate and conceptualise content for their learners before circulating it. They think about which format is best suited to the needs of their learners and the information they want to convey. They do all this work so that their learners don’t have to. By seeking out only the most relevant information and providing additional context and insights, learning curators take the burden of sifting through endless resources from their learners, reduce learners’ cognitive load, and ultimately achieve focussed learning transfer.

Designing for learning

Curated learning content can be circulated on a variety of different platforms: no matter which platform you choose, presentation matters. Consider things like accessibility, white space, consistency and an overall theme that doesn’t distract from the content. Visual hierarchy, or creating a natural next step for your learners, is also something to keep in mind. Good learning design isn’t just about creating a pleasing aesthetic. Learning design should focus on using universal design principles to create a calming environment that enables the achievement of predefined learning outcomes. Just like you would when creating formal courses, it’s crucial to start with the end in mind.

Adding a social learning element to your curated content

Curated learning and microlearning are often opportunities to include a social learning aspect. From commenting and liking, to even adding their own curated content, learners can become extremely involved in the process and go beyond the content you had originally curated for them. This added element of collaboration and interaction can make learning more fun, engaging and natural.

Overall, adding learning curation to your L&D strategy has so many benefits that you should include it going forwards. If you, however, feel overwhelmed by all the options out there and don’t quite know where to start, why not consider our Curating for Learning Virtual Workshop

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