Application Of User-Generated Content In An LMS

Application Of User-Generated Content Into LMS
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Summary: User-generated content (UGC) can be used in various forms within an LMS and can bring a huge benefit to the corporate training experience, engaging the employees.

Rise Of UGC Concept

Modern trends imply business owners have to adapt to the needs of their customers, offering a product that will definitely score high on User Experience. Relying on the users to be responsible for creating and capturing content might sound like a great idea. This creates bilateral communication and as a result, leads to a great outcome. But what exactly are we talking about? We are discussing a model where user-generated content (UGC) is used to fill in a particular part of the software functionality.

The best examples of this model can be encountered in marketing campaigns [1]. However, in the current tech world, the UGC concept exists as a form of app formation. Consider YouTube, TikTok, Quora, Reddit, Twitter, and Wikipedia. These are the easiest examples to explain the UGC concept. Actually, user-generated content even includes the consumer reviews on a company's website, so it is anything created by a user that will affect either the functionality or the engagement of other users.

Imagining UGC, you might think that this approach is better suited for social media platforms. This is definitely true, but UGC implementation is not limited to this use. It can actually be used in different spheres, including eLearning. Of course, in this case, the content created by users won’t be the only appropriate material for studying. There are several ways, though, that UGC might soften the image of corporate training. So, before talking further about the possibilities of UGC in an LMS environment compared to other learning upgrades, let’s see what benefits it can bring.

Why UGC?

Why might the content made by users be a good option? Probably you might think that especially in eLearning, it won’t be as professional and intellectual as content prepared by specialists. But still, this is the approach many companies are trying to implement because it’s a flexible, engaging, entertaining, modern, and collaborative way to learn. Let’s dig deeper.

UGC's Beneficial Influence On eLearning

1. Closer Perception

People place a high value on things they have developed themselves. Employees are more engaged with training and are more optimistic about future training courses once they feel proud that they produced even a small portion of the course. Those who stay in the learner's lane also feel more involved. Employees are more receptive to user-generated content since it is created by people they know and who speak their lingo. The learning materials become more relatable and the classes take the form of flowing discussions. This results in a more personalized learning experience that is also more empathetic and understanding.

2. More Practical Examples

A content manager who is responsible for creating course materials won’t ever be as close to the real-life examples as the team members, who implement similar tasks every day. As a result, user-generated material can fill in the gaps that corporate training courses cannot.

3. Expanded Learning Curve

Employees who are developing learning materials will need to dig deeper into what they already know and possibly conduct more research to add new information. This means that the learners will not only update but also broaden their expertise. They'll explore more when they delve deeper into a subject while attempting to teach others about it. As a result, not only will the learners of this course upgrade their knowledge, but also the ones who prepared it.

4. Better Corporate Cooperation

Collaboration is frequently the source of user-generated content. Because learning is more enjoyable when done together, you should provide opportunities for employees to collaborate on user-generated content. It has the ability to strengthen connections and assist in the formation of more productive teams, in terms of the overall outcome.

5. Performance Booster

Employees feel empowered and respected when they are asked for their thoughts. Management's and their peers' endorsement of their ideas serves as an informal acknowledgment. This results in increased commitment and ownership of the processes and the organization.

User-Generated Content In The LMS Environment

Social learning has been one of the most popular eLearning concepts in recent years, and it is still popular. People have always sought out their peers. However, in today's workplace when working remotely is becoming more common, social learning is transitioning to online learning. Particularly in the LMS environment for corporate training, the integration of UGC may take various forms. The type of material can range from visual and auditory learning (photos, videos, and podcasts) to more "formal" learning (essays and blog entries), allowing lecturers to appeal to a variety of learners. Opinions, recommendations, comments, and ratings are all examples of UGC that are easy to apply. With the rise of video learning, learners can create tutorials or mini-videos. The LMS can have a contribution panel to store all these materials in one place.

User-generated content can often make up the entirety of the content. The LMS platform can be developed so that the learners can create personal studying materials. There could also be an integrated calendar API where the sequence of lectures is displayed with all the topics, materials, and media [2]. So, the options for custom-made LMSs are many, but it’s also important to understand how best to apply such a method.

How To Make It Work?

A corporate training session will never be able to replace informal learning. While this notion of UGC originated in informal settings, it is quickly gaining traction in formal education in corporate settings. So, the question is, how to engage employees in making learning content? What if they aren't interested?

You may have noticed that when given the opportunity, employees speak up during team meetings. Inquiring about their thoughts not only empowers them but also leads to a natural discourse. Do not make the contribution compulsory. Instead, you can motivate them by presenting an overview of how this activity will benefit collaboration and facilitate further work, or simply offer bonuses. It’s also better to create the possibility for employees to have more free time for preparing the material by reducing their working hours for that period. This can be a nice discharge out of routine responsibilities.

When starting to integrate UGC into your working environment, try focusing on the most active employees at first. Enthusiasts are everywhere, so you won’t spend any time searching for the first candidates to share experiences. It’s more about starting the engine, and then the others will take it up. Finally, you also need to plan the functionality of the LMS. If it’s well-adapted to all the needs of the employees and easy to use, then there are greater chances that your team will like the whole idea. Think through each detail, so that cooperating on the platform will be intuitive and engaging.

Summing Up

Is UGC worth trying? Definitely yes, but every initiative has its own nuances. Once you learn the options, plan the features, and collaborate with HR—you'll be one step closer to a well-qualified, cooperative team.


[1] 41 User-Generated Content Statistics That Confirm UGCs Marketing Power

[2] Calendar API In ELearning | Ins And Outs Of Google And Outlook Calendar APIs