Power to the People: How User Generated Content is Shaking Up The L&D World

“We need to bring learning to the people instead of people to learning.”
eLearning guru Elliot Masie

We live in a world where anything you’d like to learn can be instantly answered, created or shared through platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. And then there’s the how-to video for practically anything you ever wanted to know (and some things you didn’t even think you wanted to know) via YouTube, Lynda et al.

The concept is not lost on the L&D world where User Generated Content (UGC) is taking the sector by storm. Ever-increasing mobile usage and learning in the flow of work are fuelling demand for high-quality tutorials.

Enter Learner Generated Content (LGC), placing Self-eLearning-styled mobile-in-the-moment DIY video in the hands of employees.


Don’t Fear ‘Self-eLearning’ – it’s here to stay

Before our L&D professionals run for the exits for fear of anarchy and mayhem, rest assured that LGC can be an amazing tool in your arsenal. Video is one of the most sought-after training tools in L&D. And it’s powerful, because it’s literally in the hands of virtually every employee.

In a corporate world where managers rightly prize a culture of learning, creating user-generated learning content is an excellent way of meeting learners where they are and encouraging active skills and knowledge sharing.

The latest Fosway Digital Realities Research 2019, indicates that in 2019, investment in video content is at the top of the list of areas predicted to grow.

Despite this, there’s still a long way to go, with 85 percent of employees describing themselves as unengaged or actively disengaged at work.

Its effectiveness in today’s business environment rests in the fact that it’s instant, it’s shareable, and from a communication perspective, its more powerful than bullet points on a slide because it taps into more of our senses, increasing engagement.

Furthermore, research shows video is effective and preferred within organisations. A survey of 1,007 executives by Wainhouse Research revealed that 78% of executives say online video is an effective tool for conducting business communications. In addition, a recent study of 1,300 younger executives by Cisco and Redshift Research finds 87% believe video has a significant and positive impact on an organisation, with benefits ranging from enhancing the experience of telecommuters to saving money on travel costs and even attracting top talent.

The kicker is that LGC can also create that crucial ‘Culture of Learning’ within an organisation, as it’s built around not just employee engagement, but involvement. Made by, and for, employees helps them engage with the content, provide feedback, share knowledge and fuel organisation-wide discussions.

From the CEO’s perspective, LGC provides a boost to the bottom line. Steve in engineering, who has ten years with the company and is an efficiency expert, can share his knowledge instantly and cost-effectively with the team, rather than one-on-one. And if Steve ever leaves, his legacy and tacit knowledge is passed on for all to learn from.

As 70:20:10 indicates, people learn mainly informally, so this means that Learner Generated Content is here to stay. In fact, the balance of power is clearly in the 70:20 with the authoring shifting to employees.

So who’s doing it right?

Companies At The Forefront of User Generated Content  

Companies want the equivalent of YouTube-for-the-Enterprise, including tools to author, share, and manage video in a scalable way. And they want it delivered in a way that personalises and directs learning to each employee based on their needs.

This sits alongside enabling the organisation to be a strong learning culture by giving all your employees the power to post a tip, trick or how-to. You simply can’t compare YouTube with a DIY channel of structured learning like gomo, if you are running a large, complex organisation.

Those large, global organisations using learner generated video content include:

  • Google – Globally, Google has embedded a culture of learning through its “Googler to Googler” program which encourages employee-inspired courses.
  • Westpac – Initiated its own UGC offering featuring social and online educational pieces ranging from basic explainers on things like cloud computing, curated by other Westpac staff.
  • Rentokil – Rentokil Initial’s U+ Content Development Centre provides digital learning to 30,000 employees worldwide in 22 languages. The Global Induction course, which takes around 30 minutes, was taken by 11,697 Rentokil Initial colleagues in the two months following its launch.

“People prefer courses authored in gomo over previous versions of those courses. We’ve seen an increase in completion rates since moving to gomo. Our courses can now be completed on mobiles and tablets, which is a huge win for us. It looks great on every device.”
Alejandro del Mazo Alonso, Rentokil Initial’s U+ Content Developer

How Can Your Organisation Get Started?

Finding & Curating Content

The curation piece is key, according to experts within gomo’s user generated content team. For it yields the good juice behind the concept. The more people can learn from each other through the best quality content, experience a free flow of ideas and information, and receive expert feedback, the more likely they are to quickly build the knowledge they need to perform better.

In this space, gomo has introduced Instilled, a new, leading-edge Learning Experience Platform (LXP) which functions as a YouTube-style channel and authoring tool in one, with some critical bells and whistles, such as post/tag/share, video searchability and fast-language translation – a win:win for everyone in the organisation, including the L&D professional.

Contributors can use a sandbox, where anyone can create and upload content, and the L&D team curates, periodically reviewing the content and publishing quality contributions.

Subject matter experts within an organisation can be called upon to shoot mobile video on the fly and in the moment – to upload and train anyone within their organisation on anything from software tips and tricks, to step-by-step instructions on how to fix an appliance – for example.

Remember of course, that Learner Generated Content is different from formally designed learning. It’s intended to be more casual than the content pushed out by SME’s and L&D. This is also what makes it particularly powerful and engaging. It’s relevant, timely (no more waiting three months to develop content), in-the-moment, and perhaps best of all – it’s mobile video friendly.

Next Steps for Global Enterprises

Check out Next steps, recommendations and use cases which include:

  • Engaging All Regional Users / Translating Content
  • Managing & Using User Generated Content
  • Tracking Content & Performance
  • Rewarding Learner Initiative

In Summary

The best of the best organisations are ensuring that enabling informal learning through technology supports and drives company philosophies about learning and performance.

Whether you’re about to launch a concerted social learning strategy or are looking to increase your level of quality user-generated content, gomo provides eLearning authoring, video, hosting and analytics with sophisticated and fast language translation. It is one learning approach that paves the way to L&D success.

Contact the team at ITC Learning to get you started and supported along your LGC journey.


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