What is user-generated content?
User-generated content or UGC refers to content produced by users. Emerging around a decade ago, UGC takes a variety of forms in many different fields. The best-known UGC platform nowadays is Wikipedia, which is driven by contributions from the community. More recent examples include the social network Instagram and travel platforms such as TripAdvisor. UGC plays a central role in our daily lives and is becoming increasingly common in professional training.
UGC in professional training
In professional training, UGC can take different forms:
- Creating and sharing content
We’ll focus on the latter, as it requires the highest levels of engagement from learners. But don’t worry, it’s really easy to get your learners creating content.
With the boom in video, one option is for learners to make tutorials or mini-videos like those seen on YouTube and in Instagram stories. These can be uploaded and sent to the LMS directly from learners’ smartphones.
The main advantages of UGC in professional training are as follows:
- Content is provided by experts or people working in the field
- It tends to contain information based on practical and technical knowledge of the current situation, making it directly relevant to learners
- It provides a useful alternative for content creation in a context where social distancing and lockdowns are necessary
The role of the Training Manager
Depending on the degree of autonomy they are given, Training Managers or Digital Learning Managers will act as community managers or as orchestra conductors.
The role of the Training Manager is similar to that of the Community Manager as they are both responsible for managing the community (learners) and ensuring that any content posted is positive and relevant. They also play a moderating role, monitoring the discussions taking place on the LMS. Once learners are engaged in this content production dynamic, the Training Manager can take stock of the content produced. They can then suggest topics for new content to avoid repetition and overlap and maintain learner engagement. The Training Manager can also offer to support learners in producing their first videos (installation, scripts, other tips).
Several tips for encouraging UGC at your organisation:
- Share content: showcase the content produced, show your interest and encourage other learners who are experts in their field to do the same
- Enable learners to score each other’s content
- Publish regular announcements to encourage sector experts to produce content
- Provide support for learners producing their first videos
Specific examples of user-generated content
At MOS — Mind On Site, editable content is used in group work between trainers and learners, for example. Learners can see the training materials on the interface and add their own documents or activities from the training course menu. They can view the course programme and click on the link or on ‘Modify page’. The page’s contents can then be edited or new content uploaded.
Forums, blogs and content evaluation
On our online training platform MOS Chorus, users are able to create forums and blogs. They can post messages and articles or leave comments about particular topics. The Training Manager can then easily transform a blog or forum into training content.
To ensure the relevance and usefulness of the content, you can also add a system allowing learners to leave scores and comments on the various resources.
Download content via the MOS Universal Player mobile app:
The MOS Universal Player mobile app offers a simple way for learners to make videos on vocational topics using their smartphones or tablets. They can contribute to enhancing training materials by sending content directly via the app.
Now you know everything about UGC in Digital Learning! Are you ready to set it up in your organisation? Contact us!