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- Have you ever done an online search for something you need for your job? For example, search for online learning. Isn't it crazy how much information pops up and how many solutions there are to choose from? Technology has made searching for answers as easy as the click of a button, but the problem is that one click can send you into total overwhelm. After first sorting out which results are ads and which ones look trustworthy, you're still left with seemingly endless amount of options. Which one should you choose? In what order? The right way forward is usually far from certain.
Your talent experiences this in the same way. They'll start with a need and can quickly get overwhelmed with choices, many of which won't really be helpful. One of the best way to help your learners cut through the noise is to curate content for them. Curating just means that you've selected the best and most relevant options and made them easily available. I do this all the time. While I may design a great learning solution on leading change, for example, I love to give my learners the ability to extend their learning. I pull together a small smorgasbord of options that I know still align with the material I created, but may provide a deeper dive or alternate method.
For example, I'll give my learners access to articles, book chapters, or even entire books, and videos, like those on this platform, as well as TED and other trusted sources. Some people will dig in and do a deep dive devouring everything I recommend, and others won't until down the road something arises prompting their need for more information. I recommend that for every learning solution you create you get in the habit of curating additional content. It's how you build a culture of learning and set your learners up to empower their own growth.
Here are some ideas that have worked for me. I like to link to current articles on the topic, seeking fresh and recent content. I vet the articles to make sure they come from reliable sources like Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, Forbes, et cetera. I also prefer content that is based in research or best practices, and I only use opinion pieces if they come from an industry expert or thought leader, like a chief executive from a peer or well-known company. Books are another great source and some learners really like the depth and breadth that a book provides on a topic.
I'll create links to books that I vetted and recommend, listing both print and audio versions. You can also buy subscriptions to digital library services if you want to make those books accessible to your employees. Sometimes, you may want to recommend one chapter from a book, or even assign one as part of the learning solution. In this case, you'll need to call the publisher to learn how you can license that one chapter for your learners. I always make a point of sharing the source material I use in building my solutions. For example, I highly value Dan Pink's work on motivation and Renee Brown's work on vulnerability.
I've woven their research into some of my learning solutions, giving proper credit of course, and so it's natural to encourage my learners to explore their work further. Videos are another great option too. From this platform, I always create a playlist of either entire courses or videos from a range of courses. You should also be leveraging the playlist and learning path features. I also really love TED Talks. Many authors and thought leaders have videos on their own websites, which you can link to as well.
And don't forget podcasts and websites, there's lots of great options, and by offering a range you can honor the diverse needs of adult learners. Just be sure that you vet everything first. It's important to make sure that the context and content align with culture of your organization, and that the quality matches the brand you're creating for your learning program. Finally, you'll need to figure out how and where to house materials you curate. When you're small, things can live on a shared drive and you can provide links to employees. But as you get bigger, you'll want to make them accessible and searchable through a website or online portal.
This can be a great way to partner with your colleagues in the technology and communication functions of your organization. But bottom line, curating content is a great way to empower a learning culture and keep your learners moving forward.
- Discovering the importance of L&D
- Identifying your L&D role or function
- Engaging employees with succession planning
- Uncovering organizational and employee potential
- Achieving a competitive advantage
- Delivering critical results
- Building a culture of learning
- Understanding the brain's natural system for learning
- Implementing on demand, embedded, flipped, and blended learning
- Choosing the right format to achieve results
- Adapting to an organization's maturity level
- Empowering practice and accountability
- Measuring the impact using the five levels of evaluation