Content Curation is the process of sorting through vast amounts of web and enterprise based content and presenting it in an organized and meaningful format. An individual who performs this activity is known as a content curator.
When training organizations are responsible for providing intellectual or knowledge-based content through an online means of delivery, such as a learning portal, the information that is published must be aggregated, sorted and displayed in a relevant and usable way. This activity is the responsibility of one or more content curators. A content curator is the person accountable for gathering, organizing and updating relevant information included in the portal. Content includes, but is not limited to, courses, articles, videos, photographs/drawings, blogs, research reports, case studies, and other types of digital learning objects.
The growth of content curation as an essential process prompted its addition to the Training Process Framework in 2012. The framework is a model that defines the 27 key business processes associated with managing a training organization.
In general, the training profession has identified five specific activities that can occur within the process of content curation:
- Aggregation: The act of curating data that is relevant for a specific topic within a single location.
- Distillation: Curating data in a simplified format that shares only the most relevant and the important information.
- Elevation: The act of identifying within the curation process a significant trend that has emerged from online postings.
- Mashups: An outcome resulting from the merger of certain curated content that produces a new and innovative viewpoint or perspective.
- Chronology: A method of curation that organizes historical information by date to show the evolution and understanding of a specific topic.
ROLE OF A CONTENT CURATOR
The role of content curation – and the importance of curators – has expanded dramatically with the “information explosion” stemming from the internet and digital technologies. The proliferation of smart phones, tablets and social networking tools including peer-to-peer interactions have fundamentally altered the learning landscape, and thus the role of content curation, according to many training professionals.
BENEFITS AND CHALLENGES
Training experts agree that this new era presents both benefits and challenges to the role of content curation. While an unprecedented amount of information is now available to curators from internet search engines on virtually any subject, adding to the richness of the learning experience, the flip side involves so-called “content overload.” Namely, the deluge of available information today, much of it unverifiable, can easily overwhelm learners.
The role of content curation is also being impacted by another growing trend. Advances in technology have ushered in a new era of personal learning that is reshaping the learning profession by enabling learners to take control of their own learning experience – instead of holding training organizations and learners solely responsible. This trend is referred to as the formalization of informal content, as explained in the TrainingIndustry.com Trends Report for 2012.
As a result of this transition, content curators, and training professionals, must recognize that an increased amount of learning occurs not from a specific course but from independent research and social learning outlets.
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