Curating Content: The Basis To Making eLearning Relevant

How To Make eLearning Relevant By Curating Content

Of the many factors that go into making eLearning valuable, content curation should rank among the top. Why? With content being all over the place, it is a case of some kind of glut. It is a situation in which too many things are offered when only something specific is sought. What if you went to a grocery store to buy peanuts, and the salesman comes in and offers you a dozen varieties of not just peanuts but also items that make no sense when they are bought with peanuts?

This is just what is happening with content. There is simply so much sailing over your head that you have to clue which to select and make a meaningful decision. Learning has to be focused, if it has to be useful. Let me illustrate:

I was trying to familiarize my teenaged son with the causes of World War I for his examination. Having studied the topic very long ago, I made a casual search on the net. As usual, I came up with thousands of results for the causes of World War I. Now, which of these would I want to pick up to help him understand the nature of the causes of World War I?

For a learner of his level, all that was needed was a focused discussion of some three-four core points, which could perhaps be something like the system of alliances, the rise of militarism among the European powers, competition for colonial resources, and the armament race among the major European countries. There could be a few supplementary points here and there, but these are all that I needed to zero in on. Believe me, it took me hours to filter the expansive materials on the net to help him understand just what he needed to know.

This filtering is just what content curation is all about. We all know it, but I realized its importance only when I got into the teaching part for a change. This was when I got a clearer idea of how focused his learning would become if the learning material is sieved to the points that he wants to study. Isn’t this what would have made his learning specific?

I was with him and helped him do it. Imagine if he were to do this by himself for all the topics and subjects on which he was required to understand the concepts. The same goes for the professional environment. Without a proper refinement of the material, all that we are going to do is load the learner with tomes of material, most of which bounce over their heads! This is where content curation makes a huge difference to the learning and makes it focused and beneficial.

3 Ways In Which Curating Content Helps Immensely

Content curation is an extremely valuable tool to have in a wide spectrum of activities concerning eLearning. Let us examine some of them:

1. Tons Of Study Material On MOOCs Need To Be Tailored To The Learner’s Needs

The relatively recent phenomenon in distance learning, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), is a veritable treasure house of seemingly infinite material. There is just so much information available on these courses that as in the case I described, it is sure to offer you a bucket of water when you need a glass. Content curation is that crucial activity that helps to get that specific item that the learner is looking for.

Content curation helps to sift material and helps the learner distinguish between what is needed. A course on Artificial Intelligence, for example, can throw up a million possibilities. But content curation helps to get to the exact topic of AI that will help the learner learn.

2. Helps To Identify The Exact Topic

Google can throw up a zillion results for every query. Unless you are lucky to get precisely what you are looking for in the first or, at best, the second page, consider yourself lost. This is a common experience for all users across the globe. When content is curated thoroughly, it helps to remove a hell out of the innumerable search sites and makes the searcher get to the exact reference soon.

3. Increase Confidence And Credibility For Your Brand

Imagine asking someone what his name is and getting to know the names of at least five of his forefathers before he tells his name. This is not what the web is doing. It is doing worse: Before it tells you your name, it not only tells the names of the forebears, it also tells you what they did, where they lived, and much else that is nonsensically roundabout. With curated content, you hear just the name you wanted to get. In business, this establishes you as a provider of reliable and trustworthy information about products and services.

Content curation is something that helps learning and even businesses in a very large number of ways. Unless organizations adapt curation, it is going to simply go round and round without helping the learner arrive at their destination.