NZATD Content Curation session

content curation presentation.png

Thank you to all the people who attended the NZATD session on Content Curation this week. This is a follow up blog as I was asked for a copy of my presentation, and I also promised some links to further resources on content curation.

There was a good hum in the room and lots of learning and experience shared. As always I came away with some learning for myself. I learnt of some content curation tools, such as, Tubechop, this allows you to take a snip of a Youtube video rather than the whole video.

We brainstormed what skills are involved in content curation and came up with a wide range including: artistic ability, Google searching well, time management and knowing when to keep focused and avoid going down rabbit holes (or getting distracted by the panda as it was called in this session). Plus so many other skills that I haven’t listed here.

It was amazing to see how easy it is to put in place content curation solutions within any organisation. We even had people who weren’t from L & D and still they had great learning solutions with regards to content curation! Some solutions I heard while walking around and listening to group discussions included utilising the Intranet better by making content easier to find – hey that’s not rocket science and what a great win! Others wanted to become more active themselves in content curation for their own professional development. Some wanted their team to pull together and keep their IP in one place so succession planning is easier.

As promised here are some links I’ve curated on content curation: http://www.scoop.it/t/content-curation-by-lorraine-minister

Below is the presentation used for this session, it may not make complete sense to those who weren’t there. You are welcome to use the presentation as long as you reference back to me and my blog.

Content curation session

Here are some of my other posts on content curation:

Learning resources from content curation

Content curation how can it be used?

The art and skill of content curation

Second hand shopping for elearning

I’d love to hear how you’re putting content curation into practice in your organisation (or how you intend to). Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

The art and skill of content curation

Content curation is a smart way of using already existing resources, such as, images, animations, videos, websites, blogs, apps and artifacts, and blending them together in a new and creative way for a specific purpose.

Skill level in content curation will make the difference between completely missing your audience with parts that don’t make sense together or have no purpose, to creating a cohesive story that powerfully connects and makes your audience think beyond the resources that have been curated.

This curated video that gives an overview of the skill involved:

Here Welenia 2013 give a visual overview of  different processes to organise and sort the best and most relevant content:

Let’s look at the skills of content curation in a bit more detail:

Knowing where to find stuff

When curating on a topic it is important to know where you can find quality content fast.

Externally curating

You can curate content externally from the world wide web. Here are some excellent websites that have quality content that can be used for learning resources:

Ted Ed lessons worth sharing – this site consists of lessons built around curated videos both from Ted Talks and from Youtube

Ted Talks – hundreds of inspiration talks on a wide range of topics. Many talks given by thought leaders in their field of expertise.

Mindtools – online training materials for management, leadership, and personal effectiveness skills.

Depending on your purpose and topic you may  find relevant content in Youtube, blog posts, industry websites, and Twitter feeds. Finding out who the thought leaders are for your subject can be a good strategy, as their digital content may point you to relevant videos, images, infographics, websites or blogs.

Think outside of the box to illustrate a point. For example, a learning objective I recently had in body language resources was about ‘the importance of matching body language to what is being said to build trust and credibility’. A video of a child lying and a forum discussion activity surrounding this demonstrated the objective well and made it interactive. A video of the Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky scandal with a link to a web site that analysed his body language also supported this learning objective well.

Internally curating

You can also content curate from staff in your organisation by inviting them to share expertise and resources on a topic. How about having a list of staff expertise so others can find the right person to ask?

Internal curation may include processes, job aids, information on the company intranet such as policies, useful information for use within teams.

What ways could you curate content internally?

Mass content curation

Why not invite others to content curate for their learning or invite staff to share resources and content they’ve found useful on the topic you’re curating.

Everything has a purpose

Make sure everything has a purpose and your learning objectives and performance outcomes are well defined. All the curated resources and content should be linked to the learning objectives and performance outcomes.

Be brutal here, if the content doesn’t link back to your objectives and outcomes leave it out. Don’t get distracted with using a cool animation you found in Youtube that has bling and looks beautiful, but lacks in message.

Be selective, prioritise resources that support your purpose the best. If you have found a large amount of resources on your topic don’t include everything, include the best ones only.

It’s also important to know when to stop when you can’t find a resource to illustrate your point. Once I spent an hour looking for the perfect image to illustrate my point, which unfortunately didn’t seem to exist, only to find that I could create my own in 30 minutes.

Storytelling and flow

Storytelling and flow is really important for curated learning resources.

Museums are a great example of this. Check out some reputable museums in your area. Each exhibition will have a flow of curated resources to tell a story – the flow could be based on a timeline or by type of content (for us it could be grouped under learning objectives). Look at how museums tell stories and see what you could apply to digital content curation.

Here’s some examples from my local museum Te Papa (Wellington, New Zealand). An exhibition about immigration in New Zealand uses creative ways to make the history into stories. In the photos, see the time line on the floor of when different immigrants arrived in New Zealand, and the table where you can view videos of people sharing their immigration stories.

Extremely powerful and it was all from existing information. Believe me I spent a couple of hours in just this one exhibition!

For learning we too can get creative with our presentation of curated content, look for inspiration everywhere.

Make it interactive and continuous

Curated content for learning should be interactive and make people think about their situation and beyond. Design questions, social interaction, and activities to support the curated content. Why not show staff how they can practice these skills in different ways in the workplace. Go beyond event based learning and into continuous and self-directed learning.

In short, curation is a smart way of using already existing resources. To do content curation well though, still requires skill, insight, and creativity.

How have you used content curation for learning? What are your thoughts are content curation – share and let’s curate together 🙂

Content curation how can it be used?

I’ve been dabbling in content curation for a few years now. My initial views on content curation in the learning space were rather limited, focused mainly on using content curation for course or learning resource design and development. I have an Instructional Design background after all!

My view of content curation has evolved and become broader. I now see many ways and levels it can be applied to the learning and development field and business.

Here are some levels I see content curation being applied to learning:

Content curation levels 3

Individual content curation

Individuals curate content for their own purpose and meaning. For example, I curate content for myself around learning topics that I’m interested in. I use my blog and other curation tools such as Twitter, Scoopit, and BagtheWeb, to organise the content I’m collecting. I refer back to my curated content when I have a project that is relevant to it.

Team content curation

Where a team collaboratively curates content and shares it within the team. The content is of common purpose and goals. I have worked in a team where we curated content on tools, templates, job aids, and useful websites around elearning and the LMS system that was in place. The content was curated within an Excel spreadsheet (old school but effective). It was used for team reference and was also used to help induct new staff members entering our team.

Learning resource curation

This is where resources are curated for particular audiences for a learning purpose. In another post I give an example of content being curated for customer service learning resources – learning-resources-from-content-curation.

Organisation curation

This is curating and putting meaning on content that is organisation wide. Examples of this could include databases or knowledge centres that contain business processes. Staff would look up the database when unsure on what to do and be advised of the correct process and any supporting documentation.

Industry curation

Curation that goes beyond an organisation or business and looks at the wider industry. This may include industry leaders or websites that curate content for their members, or just sourcing content from reliable industry sources. My own business is a learning solution business, specialising in elearning. There are some well known industry sites that provide curated content to help people in this industry, for example, The eLearning Guild, Elearning Industry, Articulate Storyline Community and eLearning Heroes.

What ways have you curated content for learning purposes?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on how curated content can be used.

How can you use the Serious eLearning Manifesto?

Manifesto

Wouldn’t it be great to have a concise guide to share with your clients and stakeholders about what high quality elearning should be? Well major thought leaders – Michael Allen, Julie Dirkson, Clark Quinn and Will Thalheimer – have done just that! Together they have produced a Serious eLearning Manifesto intending to lift the quality of elearning (and learning) that is delivered in organisations. I wholeheartedly agree with characteristics and principles listed in their manifesto – http://elearningmanifesto.org/ and think it is wonderful for them to share with the learning community.

Here are three ways I can see the Serious eLearning Manifesto being used:

1.  As a quality assurance tool

You could use the manifesto as a quality assurance tool to make sure any elearning your organisation does hits the mark and is going to make a difference to performance.

2. As an influencer to raise quality

Why not use the voice of thought leaders to help influence what quality elearning should be like in your organisation (or alternatively when elearning shouldn’t be used). The elearning manifesto website is so easily sharable with stakeholders and clients. It’s great to have professional backing that is concise and without a lot of learning jargon. This way it’s not just your opinion – it’s the voice of experts in the field.

3. As a professional development tool

If you have been in the elearning game for a while most of the characteristics and supporting principles of the Serious eLearning Manifesto probably seem common sense. Why not pick a couple of points to improve on to raise the quality of your elearning design – I have! I’ve always said “the most dangerous thing for learning – is thinking you know it all already”. The eLearning Manifesto gives us the opportunity to critique our own work and find ways to improve.

How else can you see the Serious eLearning Manifesto being used? Please share your thoughts, follow me to hear more of mine.

Going beyond elearning for change

Change Management

Often in elearning and learning design we can get focused on making sure people learn the content but can easily forget about how we can motivate our audience to do something new as a result of their learning. Learning is only the first part of the puzzle, doing something different as result of that learning is where the difference is made. Not only is it important to help people learn it’s also important that they are motivated to then implement that new learning.

What sort of things do we need to consider to make sure change occurs as a result of our learning design?

1 Opportunity

Make sure there is the opportunity to put what was learnt into practice within a reasonable timeframe. This combats the forgetting curve and improves return on investment.

One time I was sent on a Microsoft Project course by a business (without requesting it) and although I appreciated the opportunity to learn about this software they might as well just have burnt the money. After the course I repeatedly queried when I would receive the software only to find out there was no budget to actually give me the software! It was a negative return on investment.

2 Business support

Just because a request has come from the business doesn’t mean the desired change is actually supported by the business. Check if there is anything working against the learning and performance outcomes of the planned learning solution. Is there already leadership and manager buy-in, will they support the change? Are targets and measures aligned to the performance outcomes? Are there sufficient processes, tools, and structures in place?

If there are things in the business working against or conflicting with the training or learning it’s likely that the benefits will be short-lived as people return to business as usual.

3 Action plan

Ask for commitment from your learners on how they will implement their learning in the workplace. No learning is useful unless it is actually applied.

This may be as simple as asking your learners to jot down (or type into your elearning course) one thing they will start doing, one thing they will keep doing, and one thing they will stop doing and the timeframes for these. Even better if their goal setting is visible to their managers. After all, if staff are given time to complete an elearning or other learning solution wouldn’t it be better if they use what they learnt…

4 Time to practice

Learning is a journey and opportunities for trial and error are important. Check if your target audience will have time to practice their new skills or knowledge on the job. Perhaps they could even be given on-the-job tasks or assignments and their managers are involved in their learning and performance improvement (this one also links back to business support).

Elearning or any type of learning design is not a magic wand for change. For any learning solution to be truly successful must take into account what happens after the learning intervention and how progression and performance improvement continues.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, why not add a comment? How do you make change happen beyond elearning?

The game of learning design

Soccer strategy

The gamification term has become popular over the last few years. Professor Werbach from Pennsylvania University defines gamification as, “the use of game elements and game design techniques in non-game contexts” (Gamification MOOC in Coursera 2015) . If you’re producing engaging elearning in my view it seems almost impossible not to be using at least some features of gamification.

I’m currently engaged in a gamification MOOC  in Coursera, although I’ve participated in other gamification MOOCs, this one in particular encouraged me to reflect about gamification in my learning/elearning design.

I have been using gamification features in teaching and instructional design long before the term became mainstream. The reason for this is that gamification and good quality learning share many of the same features and foundations.

Here is a taste of what gamification and good quality learning have in common:

A business goal and objectives

Both should start with a well defined business goal and then specific objectives for how to meet this business goal. Solutions are built to achieve the business goal and motivate certain behaviours of the target audience or players.

Engaging and fun

To make a difference in learning design or gamification it is critical that the experience is engaging, fun, and memorable. Game theory examines and breaks down what fun looks like and how solutions (both gamification and learning) can utilise the different features of fun to get results.

Motivation

Fun is important and makes life more enjoyable, but that’s not what it’s all about… it’s also about motivation. Both gamification and learning design address how the target audience (or players) can be motivated to continue the desired behaviour after the intervention has occurred. They both have strong foundations in motivational psychology to achieve better results for desired behaviour.

Practice, challenge and progression towards success

It’s not a single one off event but something more engaging. Having opportunities to practice and a sense of challenge and progression are valuable. How can you turn your learning design into an experience rather than an event?

 

Learning about gamification is a great way to refine learning design. So much scientific research has been done on motivation and how to engage people in games. Why not borrow these lessons learnt and apply them to learning design and/or other contexts.

I’d love to hear your thoughts about gamification and how it applies to learning design? Follow me to hear more.

Should elearning be the answer for all training?

Thinking Business Woman Making Decision Yes, No Or Maybe Isolate

Years ago I was asked to do an elearning software simulation to train on software systems. On talking to key people I found that the changes were very small, non-complex and only applied to a handful of specific people. Don’t get me wrong I think system simulations and demos are a great learning resource. However, in this case building a software simulation would have been overkill when it was only for a small change and for a very small audience.

Before committing to a solution, there are some basic questions and things I like to know first like:

  • What is the need or performance problem?
  • Is it initially a training issue or does something else need to happen first (like developing business processes)?

If it is initially a training issue then I like to know:

  • Who does it affect? What type of roles do they have in the business? How many people need the solution?
  • Will the solution need to be available for new hires or other needs in the future?
  • What possible solutions are available?
  • Is there even a capacity for elearning? e.g. what technology does the audience have access to?

I never agree on a solution straight away as I think it’s important to consider all possible solutions and then find the right solution/s to match that particular business need. I also consider whether the training needs can be met in a more effective (easier, quicker, cheaper, more sustainable or better) way?

So in some cases, elearning may not be the best solution to match the business need or performance problem.

In the case mentioned above a short simple job aid met the business need and was a quick easy solution. The audience reported back the job aid was simple to follow and they were able to use the new part of the software system correctly and with ease.

What do you think? Should elearning be the answer to all training? Please share your thoughts and follow me to get notified of new posts.

Wrapping up your elearning

Imagine a dear friend buying you a beautiful thoughtful gift but running out of time to wrap it and just handing it over in an old plastic grocery shopping bag. What a difference it would have made taking the time to wrap it nicely. The same goes for an elearning course – just a small amount of time and effort in thoughtful presentation and implementation makes a large difference.

Wrapped gift

Have you paid attention to how you’re going to present your course, or is it a last minute rush to just get it up and ready to go? Here are some things to consider before the delivery deadline that will make a difference to how your elearning course is received.

Communication and marketing plan

I’ve heard of wonderful asynchronous courses being developed only to find out six months down the track that hardly anyone has completed them. Often this is simply because no-one knows the course is there – a small oversight with a large impact. If you’re going to spend effort in designing and developing a course, it makes sense to spend some effort in making sure that people know it exists. Ask – how will potential participants know that a particular course is available and ready to access?

Utilise already existing communication channels in your organisation. Let potential participants know the course is available through the company intranet, bulk emails, messaging through managers or other methods relevant to your organisation. Also by using several communication channels you’re more likely to reach as many of your target audience as possible.

Everyone in your target audience should know about the course and where to access it.

Also consider how you’re going to market the course. How will you build curiosity, anticipation and motivation. How are you going to pull people in to complete the course?

Reduce barriers to accessing the course

Make the course as easy to access as possible. Reduce the amount of steps, reading, clicks, and logins required to access the course. No-one has the time or inclination these days to spend their time searching for a course, it needs to be easy to find and access.

I recently looked at a well designed course in Articultate Storyline. Unfortunately before entering this course, the LMS page provided screeds of unnecessary text and reading describing the course. I was literally bored and had turned off before even entering the course. There is no need to describe a course indepth before accessing it. Only give the minimum information necessary before the course. Your audience does not need to know all the learning objectives of the course (snore) – just how the course is relevant to them.

In summary the elearning design does not finish as soon as course design is finished. Consideration also need to be given for how the course is communicated, marketed and accessed. Remember to fully wrap up your course – it’s worth that little bit of extra effort.

To save effort and time you may also find these posts useful:

Learning objectives how to use them

Secondhand shopping for elearning

How to bake an elearning course

Pouring Cake Mixture Into Baking Tin

It occurred to me that instructional design of an elearning course has similarities to baking a cake. What parallels can you think of? What elearning skills are required to go from home baker to professional pastry chef?

Bake for your audience

First understand who you are baking for so you can choose a recipe to suit – no point on baking a nut cake for a person with a nut allergy.

Alternatively no point using lots of high definition video for a company that has little bandwidth or creating a course full of audio when your audience’s computers have no speakers. Choose tools, techniques, and an appropriate tone to match your target audience.

Keep the occasion in mind

Why are you baking a cake, is it for a birthday, a baby shower, a wedding, or something else? The purpose will inform what sort of cake you will make and how it is presented.

a chihuahua blowing out candles on a piece of cake

In elearning the why is also important. Why is an elearning course being developed? What’s the strategic purpose and the performance goal? You’ll need to know this before exploring possible solutions.

The ingredients

What and how much ingredients are needed to successfully bake your cake?

This is where we set the specific learning objectives. What are the behaviours that are required for success and how important are each of these?  Cathy Moore’s action mapping is an excellent method for sourcing both your performance goal and your learning objectives.

Content of the recipe

The baking instructions are always in order, with the equipment needed.

With an elearning course, you also need to logically chunk and sequence the content so it flows in a coherent manner. What equipment is needed to support making the content i.e. rapid elearning tools, multimedia software and equipment, project documentation.

Final checks before baking

Review the recipe. Do you have everything you need?

woman cook reading recipes book, isolated on white

Check your proposed solution with your stakeholders and and adjust the solution to ensure there is agreement on what the end result will be.

Baking your cake

Put your cake in the oven, set timer, watch for quality. Use a skewer to test.

Begin developing your storyboards, prototypes and drafts. Watch project time frames, quality and budget. Put your elearning course through a review, testing, and sign-off process so you know when it’s fully completed.

Taste testing

Second and third opinions are invaluable.

Closeup of woman eating chocolate cupcake

Pilot your elearning course with a small group of your target audience. Does it work how it’s intended? Do any adjustments need to be made before sending a completed course out to the wider audience?

Eating the cake

Mmmmm…. my favourite part!

How do you know your course has hit the mark, what are you using to assess success?

This post by no means includes everything about baking a cake or making an elearning course. Unfortunately it’s not a ‘piece of cake’ otherwise everyone would be producing results like this:

Final Touch Ups On Ruffled Wedding Cake

Like anything, producing high quality elearning courses takes practice.

If you found this post interesting, click on the links below to read some related posts:

Why storytelling should be part of your elearning toolkit

Performing an elearning makeover

In the meantime, I might just have a piece of cake, mmmmm….

How to use Twitter as a learning tool

Ostersund, Sweden - April 13, 2014: Twitter website under a magn

Using Twitter as a learning tool – part 2

First it’s important to mention Twitter is easy to incorporate as a learning tool. In fact the hardest part was going through and getting faculty approval. Actually incorporating it into the course design as one of the learning tools was easy, low effort, no cost, and intuitive (Using Twitter as a learning tool – part 1).

Here are three steps to complete before designing Twitter activities in a course:

1. Get familiar with Twitter yourself

If you aren’t a regular user of Twitter do some background research to understand how the tool works. Here I’ve tweeted a website that I found particularly useful:

2. Inform students you’re using Twitter

Tell students that Twitter will be used to complete some of the learning activities. You do not need to teach students how to use Twitter just source some beginning starter videos and website links so they can get themselves familiar with it. There are lots of videos about Twitter on Youtube, here’s an example of one:

 

3. Explain the Twitter conditions specific to the course

There are two important conditions students needed to know to participate in Twitter activities successfully.

  1. The first was how to identify the course teacher’s tweets and receive current news and examples from the teacher. To meet this first condition we opened a Twitter account for faculty to use specifically for this course. We chose a relevant username/twitter handle so the teacher could be easily identified. For example, “@universitycoursename” – not a teacher’s personal name. By not having the teacher’s name it also meant that other faculty members could tweet under the same twitter handle in the future if desired. The students were advised to follow the teacher’s twitter handle to receive course updates and current examples related to course content.
  2. The second condition was how the students could allow the teacher and other students to find their tweets. For this condition we asked students to include a course and cohort specific hashtag in each of their tweets, for example, “#unicourse2014”. This meant that their tweets could be searched by either course lecturers or their peers. In each Twitter activity students were reminded to use the course specific hashtag.

Once you have completed these three steps then it’s time to start looking at how Twitter activities can be regularly incorporated within the course content. My next post in this series will describe how I incorporated Twitter into the course activities and other possibilities for using Twitter in activities. You can read my previous Twitter post here or follow me on Madelearningdesigns.com to get notified when new posts are available (approximately 2/3 times per month).

You may also find these posts interesting:

Monthly inspiration – Brain Rules 

Using digital stories in elearning

Secondhand shopping for elearning