It is tough when you always have to come up with great content ideas on your own. Surprise: You do not have to. Let your learners enter the ball game. User-Generated Content (UGC) is a way for you to let go and let your learners be the experts themselves and share their knowledge. And if you insert UGC in a social learning context, this is where the magic happens. Let's scroll to the details.
What Is User-Generated Content?
User-Generated Content originates from the world of Marketing, where followers create and share content, for example, pictures, videos, tweets, blogs, and the like as social proof to support your business. This can translate to a corporate learning context, where it is your employees who share learning content they have created themselves. And this is both good for the new 'teachers', the learners, the rest of your organization, and you if you administrate a learning platform.
When learners share their own content, they might have created for another specific purpose, for example, a presentation, it can be beneficial for the rest of your organization too. Another department might find the knowledge relevant in a similar or entirely different case, and then everyone saves time, instead of building up the knowledge yet again. The work your employees have done will also get a longer lifespan, making it more meaningful, when other co-workers can benefit from the work they have already done.
By investing in a UGC strategy you can also speed up the process of building a knowledge hub in your LMS or learning platform. Obviously, you can save time instead of building the entire knowledge base yourself. And like in the Marketing world, it boosts credibility when the employees themselves show their expertise in their own field, instead of HR all the way.
Examples - User-Generated Content
A lot of your employees might be SMEs (Subject Matter Experts). UGC is a way for them to shine and share their knowledge in different formats. Here are some examples:
- How-to videos on how to solve tasks
- Charts and infographics
- PDFs, written docs, blogs/articles, and the like
- Podcasts and soundbites
In the Nordics the most popular types of UGC are:
Social Learning & UGC
Social Learning is when we learn with and from each other. And just by that definition, it is clear that UGC and social learning are closely intertwined.
Social learning is the 20 percent in the 70-20-10 model, which is important to get the maximum output of new learning. Here, you talk about what you just learned, gaining new inputs, and angles.
In digital learning contexts you can enable social learning by setting up a social learning feature in your LMS or learning platform, or you can set up specific channels or groups related specifically to the learning going out. And this learning should (surprisingly) not come from HR or management only. After all, this is a blog about UGC.
When a learner puts out UGC, it is nice to get feedback, reactions, and interactions from the rest of the organization both for the learner to see if the content is valued or needs improvement. This also creates an incentive to create even more UGC. Because by connecting social learning and UGC you automatically create a stronger community and learning culture, where learners themselves get the opportunity to create and share their own content and insights.
- User-generated Content (UGC) in a learning context is when your learners create and share their own content for the rest of the organization (or specific departments).
- If you administrate a learning platform, UGC is a way for you to save time on constantly creating new content on your own, and you let employees shine and be the experts. Win-win.
- It is credible when SMEs themselves create learning content, instead of HR all the way.
- The most popular type of UGC in the Nordics is videos on how to solve specific tasks.
- Social learning is when we learn with and from each other by gaining new inputs and angles.
- UGC and social learning are closely intertwined just by looking at their definitions.
- When social learning features are enabled in digital learning settings they will automatically create a stronger learning culture, when people get the opportunity to interact and give feedback to the UGC.