Why would learning professionals talk about something that museums do? Because curation is a process learning & development professionals should be using to support their business partners using a targeted, specific method. Like instructional design, curation is a systematic process of gathering content that is relevant to a particular topic area or business segment. More than simply gathering information, curation is about helping your audience make sense of a topic and providing a deeper context of the information as it relates to their work and lives. Imagine the impact you will have by delivering content that is tailored to your client community to meet their specific needs and interests.
This may sound like a marketing ploy however the advantage a learning professional has in becoming a curation specialist is the connection you create with your business partner. Aligning the curation process to their references, their business resources, and highlighting current practices you are saving them time searching for this information and providing a service in keeping them up-to-date with their industry. In doing so you are positioning yourself as their internal resource, their learning partner.
There are three basic steps in the curation process. First, find content aligned to the need but do not panic, there are many tools that can help automate this process. These tools can also help you in the second step which is focused on organizing, editing, and customizing the content to the targeted user community. The third and final step is to provide context and help make sense of the information when needed and then deliver this packaged information to the user community. The idea of finding, reviewing, evaluating and selecting content from multiple sources may feel very overwhelming however there are many tools available (click on the image for details and resources) that help automate this process. These tools take the burden away from you having to daily sort, comb, and select specific content objects from the world wide content. Many of these tools are free to begin with and guide you in the process of selecting key search words and terms from online sources ranging from Twitter to blogs to podcasts. The research you must do initially is to identify the key terms, resources, journals, and thought leaders your business partner uses so you can set up your search engines effectively. Here is an opportunity to connect and begin building that business/learning partnership with a deeper commitment to understanding their needs. Learning their concerns and trends (these are the key words and terms) you can set up an automated search capability that will bring that content into a product that brings this specific information to your targeted audience in a meaningful and organized way.
Curation is a key tool to engaging your business partner and beginning the process of building a learning community while establishing yourself as the “go-to” information resource. By using the tools available you can create and deliver focused and targeted content to different business (your learning) partners and highlight your skills at the same time. Curation is a part of the learning process by providing current, related content to people seeking it as providing the resources that can help us continuously learn and positively impact our performance. The next step is to expand the curation team to include key members within the business unit. This creates collaboration opportunities to include user-generated content and support their expertise in moderation and contextualization of the content being brought in. Using their expertise combined with performance focused assessment strategies you will build a collaboration that is about the business and improving the performance of the organization. As we work in teams and collectively solve problems the process of curation can be used to bring business teams, learning professionals, and external resources together in a timely, effective method.
If you would like to learn more, please contact me and let me share the three curated resources I deliver daily. Visit me at www.williamjryan.com or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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