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Monday, June 16, 2014

Reusing Content

Reusing content is a cheap(er) and easy(er) alternative to creating new content. You can utilize the time and effort someone has taken to create content that provides benefits to learners (hopefully). When content becomes out dated, you can then reshape the content to meet the current standards. To successfully reuse content you will need to:

1. Analyze + 2. Plan + 3. Create + 4. Test

Step 1. Analyze content

As always, you should work with SMEs to determine the current subject matter, workflow, process or other descriptor that ties along with your content. Instead of focusing on things from start to finish, ask your SME….

Can anything be reused?  What is new?  Is it all still relevant? Does it still provide value? 

A few key areas that you should be able to reuse include information about the process in general (unless there was a complete overhaul), learning objectives and your target audience information. When looking at what is new ask yourself, can this information be better served in a document to accompany the course?  Remember recreating elearning isn’t always the answer. Gather as much information about the current process to review the subtle and not so subtle changes that have happened recently. Ask questions about complaints or gaps that have been noticed by management and make a plan of action to address the concerns. An important question to ask is what do you want the course to achieve now? Should they have a knowledge, comprehension or the ability of application when complete?

Step 2. Plan

Now is the time to storyboard or prototype the changes into a conclusive course. You should always keep in mind that updating content into a more deliverable manner would only increase the learner’s retention. Would the learner benefit if I added a visual or video? When planning a reused course you may run into issues with dated content and design. Be sure to update the course into the newest template and when possible provide better multimedia.

Step 3. Create

Using your analysis and storyboard begin creating a course that will advance the initial design.  Try new ideas to see if another format or presentation style would better benefit the learner. Use multimedia when possible to add to the engagement.  Edit previous wording to be concise and clear. While working on the course keep in mind that content might be better suited into chunks.

Step 4. Test

Take your newly created course to the masses. Starting with the SME and moving to a larger test group see if the content gets applause or upheaval. Try adding it into training programs that will provide candid feedback like a new hire orientation process.

That’s it! Now you have a reused course that includes new content, better design and addresses current issues. Be sure to schedule another check point with your SME to see if content has changed.

How do you reuse content?  Leave a comment below of tweet me @jvalley0714

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