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Using CMS Technologies for Streamlined L&D Operations, Part 1: The Roles of Content and Knowledge Management

Published Thu Apr 30 2020


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Have you ever wondered what it would take to streamline your L&D operations, specifically the content and knowledge management? What about using content management technologies or the methods to streamline and improve curriculum creation and instruction? It all starts with defining your most important goals and deciding who will work on what first then applying those human resources to your most important goals to create, manage, and deliver training or learning experiences anywhere—or everywhere—in the world.

In part one of this blog post series, we’ll cover how to determine what roles will help you streamline your learning and development operations.

Who Works on What?

How can we make sense of who does what in terms of content and knowledge management? And why is this so important before defining your specific business or organization’s most important goals? Let’s start with the people and job functions that matter the most when using content management technologies for a better, more cost effective, and more streamlined L&D operation.

Authors (SMEs)

SMEs (subject matter experts) know about an idea or topic inside and out. They know and can provide information about their domain better and more authentically than anyone else can. However, SMEs may not know or care about proper writing methods or how to make topics engaging for the learner. They will start the “pen to paper” process; they will take an idea and write about it better than any other person because they are the experts on that idea. Without SMEs, an L&D operation has nothing to use, work from, or sell.

Co-Authors (SMEs)

When the idea is so big that a single SME will not suffice, either because of gaps in knowledge or applications of ideas across environments and use cases, co-authors are needed. Co-authors also serve to augment or validate authors' information and written work for accuracy, domain specialization, and global relativeness.

Instructional Designers (IDs)

IDs tailor the author and co-authors ideas or topics to create an L&D experience that affects the learner. Their primary focus is learners and their abilities to apply the subject matter to their personal goals or professional needs. IDs also analyze and evaluate whether the idea and content meet the needs of the end-user in a way that applies methodologies of learning and instructional theories, models, or best practices, something SMEs may know or care little about.

Multimedia and Graphic Designers (MM and GDs)

MM and GDs have incredible abilities to take something dense or overwhelming and create visual imagery that’s simple, easy to understand, and fun to watch. This not only appeals to the visual learning style of the learner but is exponentially important to professionally looking products that elicit emotions and appeal to global or multilingual audiences.

Copy Editors and Proofreaders

Depending on the context for where and how the content will be used, written knowledge needs to meet some kind of writing standard that is neither the wheelhouse of an SME, ID, or GD but is the interest of someone who understands technical, academic, or professional (business) writing requirements and rules. This is not at all my world, although I am learning a few things the more time I spend pseudo-editing authored, co-authored, and instructional design contributions. However, copy editors and proofreaders are really important to ensuring that content that is not only reliable and easy to consume but has long-term reusability and higher ROI for the end-user or learner.

Now that we’ve made sense of who does what in and L&D operation, let’s focus on defining goals that make most sense to your specific organization. In part 2, I will outline various goals faced by an L&D operation as it relates to content, knowledge, and intellectual property. By the end of this multiseries blog post, you will have the foundation you need to start using content management technologies for a more streamlined and cost efficient L&D operation.

About the Author

Christina “Christy” Freire is an accomplished project manager, learning systems architect, educational technologist, and instructional/curriculum designer with more than 15 years of experience working in various training and education environments. She is currently the global program manager of curriculum at Cellebrite, a digital intelligence and forensic company. Her primary L&D focus is on designing comprehensive e-learning programs, implementing strategic or innovative solutions, and supporting research and development for EdTech, learning technologies, and knowledge systems to promote an efficient, user-centered, and effective learning experience.

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