“Great curators will see around corners, embrace and expose unusual and unexpected themes and sources, and make bold predictions about their passions & beliefs. There’s little room for timid, cautious, slow-moving curators.” – Steven Rosenbaum
eLearning provides learners instant access to phenomenal amounts of content. For example, Percipio, Skillsoft’s award-winning intelligent learning experience platform, offers tens of thousands of videos, digital and audio books, book summaries and courses across a wide array of topics. The challenge with such a large volume of easy-to-access content is how does the learner find what they need when they need it?
Curation at Skillsoft
The role of curation is growing and evolving within the realm of eLearning. It involves much more than simply putting content into specific categories, it means creating and maintaining the environment that the content lives in and defining which tools are available to learners so they can find the right kind of material to solve their specific learning needs.
The Skillsoft Curation team developed “The 8 Verbs of Curation” to define these vital functions of curation.
It is essential to know the audience. What are their goals and what are they trying to learn? What are they trying to achieve – is it to solve a problem quickly or for career planning purposes? Which topics and modalities will help address these different types of learning objectives?
This action may be the most commonly understood aspect of curation – placing content in the right channel within a defined structure. However, there is more to consider: such as what tags within a governed taxonomy to use — competency, topic, expertise or level? Within Percipio a curator can also feature an asset so that it prominently displays which is very useful for promoting popular or newer content.
Once content is aligned and placed in the right location it is time to evaluate the results. How can you collect and review information and learn from that analysis? It is vital to look for trends in content discovery and search to then consider which curation techniques can be iterated to improve results. Also, which platform developments should be prioritized to continue to develop content discovery?
Inform & Report
Within that analysis, what insights does the data reveal? Look for popular content or gaps in coverage. Determine how to communicate those insights to customers, partners, and internal stakeholders.
Make the changes you recommended above — whether to the platform, content organization, or curation practices. Were those changes implemented correctly and can learners use them effectively?
Learn & Iterate
Repeat the process above as part of continuous improvement. What was the impact and did it meet your expectations? Are there any additional improvements to recommend?
Using this framework helps:
- Understand how Skillsoft surfaces content and improves that content discoverability
- Provide relevant, timely, and timeless content across all topics
- Continuously improve Skillsoft’s curation process
- Enable the curation of custom or third-party content into Percipio
How does this framework work in practice?
- If a featured asset does not show high usage, it might be time to swap it out for a newer book or another asset with higher usage or better rating.
- If there is an increase in requests or searches on specific competency models or topics that aren’t covered in your taxonomy, it may be time to update your taxonomy to include them.
- If you notice that a significant number of learners access a particular book title after completing a course, you should recommend the book to other learners who completed that course more frequently.
Curation is an ongoing process – it will never be ‘done.’ New types of content, new modes of discovery, and changes to the platform will open opportunities for learning and iteration continuously. Curators must be agile and continually observe to provide ongoing and useful benefits to their learners.
To learn more about our curation processes – download The Essential Role of Content Curation in eLearning. And stay tuned for next month’s The Principles of Content Curation.
Chris Simpson is the Senior Manager of Curation for Skillsoft.