Instructor as Content Curator

EOD:  Education on Demand™, when implemented appropriately, can expand and update training curriculum.  Since EOD is driven by learner goals and needs, the content must be continually reviewed and refreshed.   Learner demands will prompt specific content queries and, thus, responses.

Bob Mosher, in his thoughtful post, “The Diminishing Shelf Life of Learning, “ observed that in today’s information saturated world, learning content is no longer disseminated through instruction rather content is aggregated.  He concludes that content today actually has very little, if any, shelf life.

With the exploding dissemination of content via the Internet and rapidly changing business practices, related content could outlive its usefulness within days if not moments.  This brings into clear relief the changing role of the instructor.  Beyond aggregator,  the teacher actually assumes the role of curator.

As a curator of content, a quality professor aggregates information and practices which are aligned with recognized standards.  Such standards may be industry competencies as identified by leaders, researchers, and practitioners in the field.  In traditional fields, knowledge pillars have been built over time, are tested periodically, and convey breadth of understanding.   Even with aggregated content based on standards, the instructor ultimately curates to guide learning experiences.

Curation is necessary due to the overwhelming quantity of content but curation is not sufficient.  Today’s best teacher also is an active facilitator of learning and provides a variety of interactive experiences.  Students who are career professionals bring content background and often, expertise to the course.  The instructor worth his or her salt will tap into the content knowledge of the group.  Curation guides the learning experience plan but participant knowledge and queries will shape the actual learning.

Access to instant content via search engines, social media, and apps makes the role of content curator all the more important.  The instructor as curator helps separate the wheat from the chaff.  The chaff may be interesting but not grounded in content knowledge.  That is not to say that the chaff does not have discussion value but making decisions on limited points of view will skew understanding.   An expert trainer aggregates content based on best practices, curates the content for meaningful learning,  and welcomes additional input and information.