What do we mean by content curation?

Did you know?

Plagiarism is when your students take someone else's work and pass it off...

A content curator is someone who continually finds, groups, organises, and shares the best and most relevant content on a specific issue. With so much educational content available to you, it can be an overwhelming task to keep up!

As an online or blended teacher, you have the ability to choose content sources and provide the learning context for the content you develop, curate, and publish for your students. You can choose from a variety of learning assets, such as textbooks, your own lectures, student-generated content, social media, and other digital and non-digital areas.

Even if your course has already been developed, you have the opportunity to include additional resources to support student learning. Search tools abound on the open web, and learning materials have never been easier to locate and access.

In the following activity, click on the tabs on the left-hand side to find out more about content curation technology tools and the different approaches to locating resources.

The following paragraphs will provide more information about content curation technology tools and the different approaches to location resources.

Your context

Check with your institution for information related to its institutional content...

Useful links

Open Educational Resources: Ariadne: www.ariadne-eu.org...

Portfolio activity

Choose a course or topic within your discipline and explore related Open...

Library database subscriptions

Explore your institutional library to see what resources are accessible to online students. Check through the subscriptions available, and consider creating an online library scavenger hunt for your students to explore the content and services at your institution that relate to your course and programme.


Search engines

Search engines have become powerful tools for finding and curating teaching and learning content. Explore the advanced search features of your favourite search engine for methods related to finding scholarly works, and for tool tips that you can share with your students. Google provides educators with a fantastic overview of these advanced features: see the 'Useful links' at the end of this section.


Open educational resources

Open Educational Resources are free, openly licensed documents and media for teaching, learning, assessment, and research. In addition to using these resources in your online teaching you and your students can contribute to the robust offerings available, and become peer reviewers of submitted content. (See the 'Useful links' pod at the end of the section for some examples.)


Virtual labs

Virtual labs are online simulations which provide you and your students with the opportunity to interact with real-life scenarios in the online environment. Take time to explore the web for virtual labs related to your discipline (usually STEM subjects), which may include videos, interactive exercises, and areas for feedback and dialogue.


Textbook supplements

Many textbooks come with supplementary materials, such as practice exams and homework problems for students. Some of these also include presentation files and other related documents that can be uploaded into your LMS/VLE in support of existing learning content. Remember to check copyright restrictions before uploading content supplied by publishers.

Aggregating your online teaching content

Building on the practice of tagging, as covered earlier in the course, you can explore the use of aggregation tools to help you gather and present educational content in your online or blended course. You can use aggregation tools to find and gather content your students have posted using social media tools, or content that is related to a specific topic of choice. You can also generate course newsletters, providing up-to-the-minute content to include in your teaching.

Aggregation is one of five content curation processes that can help you gather the right materials for your course:

  • Aggregation
  • Distillation
  • Elevation
  • Mashup
  • Chronology

Mashup

A web-based application that allows you to combine multiple forms of data (e.g. the combination of images, text, music, and audio to create a digital story).

In the following activity, click on the pinpoints in the image to find out more about each of the five curation processes. For each process, click 'Example' to see how the process might work in practice.

The following paragraphs will provide more information about each of the five curation processes, in addition to an example of each process in action.

Download

Download UNESCO's Guidelines for Open Educational Resources...

Did you know?

RSS technology is a way to keep track of regularly updated web content...

PROGRAMME | Teaching Online
COURSE | Using technology tools for teaching online
UNIT | 2 : Developing, delivering, and curating content
PAGE TITLE | Curating learning content

Aggregation

Content aggregation is the process of exploring content from a variety of sources, and displaying all of it in one single area. Aggregation allows you to automatically bring in a large amount of related content which is updated on a regular basis.

Example:

A marine biology teacher uses an aggregating tool to bring together content related to tropical marine systems from several distinct geoscience and environmental management newsletters.


Distillation

Distillation is the process of sifting through content, selecting the most important elements to display in one single area. Distillation allows you to review content as it is being collected, and to select only the best and most appropriate content to share.

Example:

An allied health teacher works with a librarian to find journal articles appropriate for a topic on mental health.


Elevation

Elevation is the process of identifying trends on specific topics with the content you are curating. This requires more time and a commitment to the analysis of topic trends or key thought leaders.

Example:

A marketing teacher reviews online news, blogs and reports to identify trends in the use of technology for marketing.


Mashup

Mashups involve the curation of multiple modes of content, which are merged into a single new piece of content with an original focus and point of view.

Example:

A law teacher creates an online note board around the topic of family law with links to a video case study, a law journal article, a family law act and an online news article.


Chronology

The chronology model supports the integration of timelines into the curation process, which allows you to bring in a historical perspective along with curated content.

Example:

An economics teacher uses a timeline with dates to arrange content related to business development, government regulations, changes in society, and company histories.

Do this icon

Remember, you are not the only one who can create and curate content for your course! Consider having your students contribute to the learning experience by adding and commenting on course resources. When involving your students in the content curation process, remind them to cite where new content is coming from and to highlight when content is their original work.

Now take a moment to think about how you might apply some or all of the five curation processes outlined in the previous activity to your own course.

Now take a moment to think about how you might apply some or all of the five curation processes outlined in the previous paragraphs to your own online or blended course. How might you involve your students in the process? What tools could you use?

In the following activity, consider the question and make a note of your thoughts in the space provided.

PROGRAMME | Teaching Online
COURSE | Using technology tools for teaching online
UNIT | 2 : Developing, delivering, and curating content
PAGE TITLE | Curating learning content

Aggregation

How might you integrate this process into your online teaching?


Elevation

How might you integrate this process into your online teaching?


Distillation

How might you integrate this process into your online teaching?


Mashup

How might you integrate this process into your online teaching?


Chronology

How might you integrate this process into your online teaching?

Portfolio icon

You may wish to copy your thoughts into your Teaching Online portfolio for future reference.


Your context

Check with your institution for information related to its institutional content and resource subscriptions.

Useful links

Did you know?

RSS technology is a way to keep track of regularly updated web content. RSS stands for 'Really Simple Syndication', and it does just that – syndicates content for you!

Subscribing to content via RSS will generate what is called a 'feed', which will allow you to keep up-to-date with content as it changes.

This is an easy way for you to aggregate content from all your favourite resources (websites, blogs, online newspapers, etc.) in one easily accessed location.

Educause has produced a fantastic resource explaining RSS feeds, and how to use them in your online teaching: http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ElI7024.pdf

Portfolio

Duration: 40 minutes

Choose a course or topic within your discipline and explore related Open Educational Resources that align with your course or topic learning objectives. Using the repositories provided in the 'Useful links' pod above, search for content, and evaluate the value and relevance of each within the framework of your course or topic.

Use the attached template to make a note of your findings, or use the relevant page of your Teaching Online portfolio.

Did you know?

Plagiarism is when your students take someone else's work and pass it off as theirs. Examples include when a student copies part of a published article and pastes it into an assignment with no reference to the original author or publication. Even if the student rewrites most of the work, if there is no mention of the original author or publication, it is plagiarism.

Content curation is like collecting and showcasing the work of others which has been published on the web – with full attribution to author and publication, and a direct link to the website the content was taken from. Examples of content curation include developing a library of web links, or annotating and sharing links within social media sites.