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Opening the doors to learning, the management of change, part 2 of Curation software

In my last article, I talked about how curation software meets demands of today’s learners. These products open the door to greater use and the potential of viral learning.

However, from an Enterprise learning organization point of view, that door also opens to all sorts of change. Using a curation approach requires that we look quite differently at the types of products that we deliver to our clients and flips more than just the classroom. Let’s talk about the good and the challenges of this change.

It is exciting to think about the good: open access, modularizing content and making learning personal. Employees will have the resources they need, when they need them and where they need them. That will show that we are listening, responding and investing in their development. Companies that have used these techniques see much greater engagement. And, with the right analytics, the company can better serve needs (now that they see them) and see who has the skills they need to move forward. The right tool benefits the employee first and in doing so, the company.

Open begets engagement begets better data and talent management, so that is the good. Makes sense to move that direction.

But moving to this new world requires that Learning Program Managers, Instructional Designers and Facilitators all need to change. I have recently heard that change portrayed as moving from creation to curator. Gee, that doesn’t sound like a lot of fun for learning professionals. I believe that is only partially true. Yes, it is a tectonic shift. In most companies, some creation shall always be needed. I prefer to think that we are moving from an inside focus to an inclusive view and from project managers to problem solvers.

Creating pathways will still need an understanding of how adults learn. Think about how you learn at home. I want to learn how to add memory to my laptop, so I Google the question and watch a video. If I want more, I can print out a step by step PDF. If I have a question, I can go to a site and ask experts.

I hear you, that is not changing behavior. Not every request needs to change deep set behaviors. (Burn her at the stake!) First meet the immediate needs, the just in time requests. Build the habits; get learners and SMEs to build that community that we have been driving. Give them the resources in short bites that work on all platforms and build their thirst for more. Then, offer a course in pieces with experiences. Build the habit.

Curation software lets you do this like we have never been able to do it.

Look at the wealth of information we can offer – everything from short videos, to animations, slide shows, condensed business books, noted journal articles, websites with bite sized content ready to consume, subscriptions, job aids and PDFs. Layer in simulations, business challenges, projects and stretch assignments with social learning led by SMEs and you are now in the realm of an ecosystem. Bring in data from your HRIS system about job level, job families and competencies and it is personal. And now all of that treasure is trackable.

As a visual learner, I see it all building into a learning tree where learners can look at a branch, a twig or just a leaf. OK, too many analogies…. But you get the picture – Learning professionals will have access to a huge internet treasure of products and resources. Use them, provide flows and brand them.

So, where do we start? Once we have the tools to create paths with multiple resources (i.e. the curation portal or front end), take a look at your needs and start parsing out the courses. Start by learning how to or by building partnerships with vendors who can:

  • Build short content in HTML5

  • Provide credible resources that are short and focused

  • Understand simulations, animations, and experiences

  • Convert documents and files to videos

Next, I will talk about examples and how to I have parsed out courses. Add your examples in the comments below.

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