There’s a rise in the discussion (and creation of) user-generated content among companies that are utilizing online educational tools and training platforms like an LMS. People spend a lot of time talking about the increase of user-generated content within the learning management system and overall corporate training experience. This has led to increased engagement with employees and helped create an atmosphere where people feel valued for their contributions. To date, however, user-generated content (UGC) has only been a part of the LMS. Today, the question is posed as to whether an LMS can be built entirely of UGC.
The short answer is that it’s a possibility. It isn’t impossible to create a successful, dynamic LMS with only user-generated content, so long as you have the right content in the first place. Companies that have adapted to the needs of their employees just as they adapt to the needs of their customers will see the most success here. They will have the poise and persuasion to encourage team members to engage with the platform and share content to fill in the gaps in the software functions.
The UGC Concept
To get a better idea of what qualifies as user-generated content, it’s important to have at least some grasp of digital marketing, online databases, and social media. Although some organizations struggle to figure out what UGC can be, it’s a lot clearer than they think. Some prime examples include:
This is often the reason why some companies won’t use Wikipedia or Quora as resources for the content that they create. While the information is likely valid and useful, the sites are deemed less professional because the content is supplied by users, rather than having dedicated writers putting content on the site.
Another important thing to note is that UGC isn’t just for social media. It’s easy to apply there, of course, but if it’s becoming a part of the LMS, organizations will need to learn how to incorporate it in other ways, as well.
Why Trade Training Modules for UGC?
Content made by users, when done well, can become very useful to an organization. Sure, people might not create the stuffy, formal eLearning lessons that most LMS platforms are known for, but that’s precisely the point. Today’s employees want a different approach to training and education, and if you let them, they will tell you exactly what that means. There are several benefits of putting user-generated content on the to-do list for your LMS platform, starting with the fact that it offers first hand advice and more practical examples than those age-old training modules.
People place a higher value on things they’ve created or that their peers have created than big corporate systems and databases. That means that if your organization allows UGC, it will probably also see more engagement and a better reception from the rest of the team because you’re giving them content from people that they trust to help them become more successful in their own roles.
Learning materials don’t just include practical examples, though. They become much more relatable and give people the chance to engage in discussions, not just sit in training classes all day long. Ultimately, that leads to a learning experience that is personalized and designed to meet the needs of each team member accordingly. Plus, user-generated content can create better cooperation, increased performance, and an opportunity for everyone to upgrade their knowledge quickly and easily.
What Types of UGC Work in the LMS?
Although it will ultimately be up to each organization as to which content they allow in the LMS, several types of user-generated content can appear here. It could be visual or auditory learning tools and resources to more formal materials like essays or eBooks, giving employees the chance to embrace their learning and share their knowledge with others. Social learning is becoming a popular trend and part of its success comes from the user-generated content that is shared within different LMS platforms.
User-generated content that could be helpful in your LMS includes:
- Blog posts
You could also create a forum for general conversation and discussion regarding the LMS, the various topics covered, and other organizational concerns or questions that people have. This will allow you to create a learning community and not just deliver more training modules to people (the latter of which very few people want).
And, over time, the user-generated content of an LMS can indeed become the entire platform. However, you will need to cultivate this over time and ensure that learners can create personalized study materials that work. There are several different options to add content for users but doing it at all is enough to make engagement soar.
Make Users Feel Valued and Make Sure Your LMS Thrives
Bear in mind that just because they can, doesn’t mean they should. This is in reference to user-generated content and its quality—organizations need to ensure that content isn’t getting posted unless it delivers value and adds something to the LMS that wasn’t there previously. It’s also important to make sure that employees feel appreciated for their input and engaged as a part of the learning process. When you keep goals like this in mind, creating a successful LMS with user-generated content is a simpler task.
Employees like to contribute. The entire culture of your organization should focus on encouraging people to engage and interact throughout the work day, and that includes the LMS and other digital resources. Motivate people by showing them how this platform can enhance their careers and the careers of their coworkers. When you make it obligatory, people will feel pushed. When you open up the LMS to welcome their valued input, however, your people will feel like they’re helping you create the best learning platform possible. Think through the process and consider the details so that you can create an intuitive, cooperative, and engaging LMS, whether it’s all user-generated or only in part. Here at eLeaP, we can provide you with the solutions you need to improve your employee training program and garner your results. Go ahead and set up a 30 day free trial today to check out how our system can work for you and your team!