Five tips for crowdsourcing training content

Many corporate training and development departments find it difficult to meet the increasing volume of training requests.

With already constrained training resources, innovative organizations are turning to “crowdsourcing and user-generated content” with subject matter experts in order to quickly produce content and meet the growing needs of the business.

If this sounds familiar, here are five tips that can help you launch and manage a new crowdsourcing initiative allowing your company’s subject matter experts to build content at the speed of business.


1. Rewards and Recognition

Designing training content is time-consuming so if you want buy-in, you may want to offer employees’ incentives to help motivate them to build content.

One company we spoke with had a priority project to update over 900 micro-learning modules for their sales department. They set up a system where users could sign up to build specific modules. For each module built, they offered a $100 reward!

This not only created competition but by sharing the information with other employees, it encouraged others to contribute. And the training department even got marketing to fund the rewards!

2. Seed Content

If you want your subject matter experts to align to business needs right, a great way to get started is for your corporate training and development department to first build or curate some of the content.

This should include great examples of what is expected and also recommendations on handy tools that people can use.

Do not expect subject matter experts (SME) to use traditional “e-Learning” authoring tools. They are way too complicated to learn. You need to “seed” the program so people can see what is considered minimally acceptable quality.

3. Streamline instructional design

While there are still many debates about whether or not you need instructional design, the evidence is clear that good instructional design results in training that impacts performance.

To avoid risking quality content, find a simple way to align user generated content with learning objectives and assessment methods, and make design more agile and effective.

Learning design systems can be really helpful with this task. They help you automate and streamline the instructional design process so your subject matter experts are guided through best practices while building content.

4. Curating corporate training

If you want to scale corporate training development efforts, you need to enable subject matter experts to use tools that are familiar to them.

Specialized e-Learning authoring tools won’t cut it. You need to subject matter experts to repurpose as much existing content as they can find, whether is it a YouTube video, PDF, blog post or other.

Curating corporate training works best when the process of reusing existing assets is made easy. It’s much faster to curate than to create every time.

5. Collaborate with subject matter experts

With crowdsourcing, any subject matter expert can participate, but you need great collaboration tools to support them and set clear standards of what is acceptable quality.

The training department needs to establish a workflow that allows for quick collaboration with subject matter experts at every step. Streamlining instructional design so that SMEs are not expected to become instructional designers is critical.

You will need the right technology for your new crowdsourcing initiative where content design and development efforts can happen collaboratively within one platform.

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Five tips for crowdsourcing training content