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What exactly is curation? It’s the practice of structuring data in a way that makes it easier for individuals to use quickly. Curating material helps you efficiently use data in your operations, and can streamline training and enhance trainees’ learning.

Developing a collection of curated materials doesn’t have to be a time-consuming chore. Often, there is no need to create training material from scratch, as the content you need may already exist. There are a few ways to locate material suitable for your curation efforts. You can search websites to find off-the-shelf content, or you can work with third-party partners to find well-researched and tested content they have developed. If you work with a third-party partner, ensure their content is created from working with Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). It’s also important to ensure that materials you utilize have been reviewed and updated as needed to ensure the content is still current.

Once you have found content for your curation effort, you will need to make it relevant for your learners. You can do this by using your company’s specific language and referring to scenarios and examples that pertain to your company. You will also need to define your objectives and purpose for the curated content. Think about who the learners are when you define the purpose for curation, and allow that to drive the theme. If you’re editing materials for curation, you may also decide to work with SMEs to ensure you shape the content in the most relevant way for your company. If you work with SMEs, it’s recommended you select a pair of individuals – one who has a longer tenure with the company (10 years or more) and one who is newer to the organization (2-3 years) – this gives you the benefit of a historical perspective while still ensuring materials are relatable to newer employees. It’s also important to select SMEs who are personally interested in the subject matter, as they will be more invested in generating high-quality content for your learners.

After making the curated content your own and relevant for your learners, you will want to contextualize the content by adding your own comments, title and brief overview. Explain how it’s relevant to the learner’s needs and the learning goals. Specify how the information will help them in the workplace. Provide them with answers to the following questions:
• What should the trainee look for?
• What will they find?
• Why does it matter?
• How does it apply to the work the learner is doing?
• How does it apply to the learning goals?

To get the best return on your efforts and ensure your curated content is well-used, keep it where it’s readily accessible by your learners. Remember to stay open to feedback and actively seek insight from trainees who review your curated materials. This will help you continue to provide them with focused and meaningful content.
Companies find that using curated material for their training program gives learners the information they need, it saves time, and it helps learners plan their learning approach, encouraging them to seek more learning experiences. It also helps companies reduce cost, and creates a resource that allows frequent and long-lasting usage.

If you’d like to learn more about curation or discuss how this practice might help your operation, please contact our team at