User generated content in training – what are the challenges and how to succeed

In our second blog covering the basics of User Generated Content (UGC), here we look at some of the challenges and how to apply UGC to your formal training and elearning activities.


In our second blog covering the basics of User Generated Content (UGC), here we look at some of the challenges and how to apply UGC to your formal training and elearning activities.

Despite the many advantages of creating UGC (see our previous blog), there are some disadvantages too.


Reluctance to contribute

Not all users are active participants. Some may not have the time or may lack the skills or confidence and this could lead to biased content where a few users will push their content and ways of thinking.

Overcome this by providing plenty of support, such as tips on presentation skills or writing content, offering to review their first written draft or first video edit.


Accuracy of content

The authenticity and reliability of UGC can be an issue. Does the employee know what they are talking about, is it up-to-date and including the latest legislation or thought leadership examples? Does it meet the company’s policy on diversity and inclusion?

The best way around this is to assign someone to oversee the content development process or to moderate content before it goes live.


Coverage of subject matter

Depending solely on UGC could leave you with gaps in your course content as users will post content of their choice leaving out other areas of the curriculum. This will need careful planning and management to ensure the UGC content doesn’t create a skewed perspective.


Overcoming the challenges

How can you overcome the challenges, mitigate the disadvantages and apply UGC to your corporate training?

1. Be Realistic

Don’t expect employee or learner-generated content to have high production values or be riveting. It’s about creating a space in your course content for learners to contribute in a meaningful way with their thoughts, ideas and suggestions. It won’t always be flawless, far from it!

2. Voluntary contributions

 Asking learners to complete a written or video piece to complete the course isn’t user-generated content, it’s an assignment. You may find something within that you can use as UGC but voluntary contributions will be far more valuable to their peers and future learners.

3. Incentivise

If you’re introducing the concept of user-generated content to your workforce, offering an incentive to contribute is a great way to get everyone on board. Time off, lunch on us, a gift card or an employee award for taking part are easy ways to encourage staff involvement. Or try gamification where each contribution earns badges leading to a higher status on the leaderboard.

4. Intuitive LMS

Simple text editors, drag-and-drop features and easy video upload will make life easier for contributors whose day job isn’t training. Make sure your Learning Management System (LMS) is as intuitive and easy-to-use as possible for UGC if that’s an area you’d like to include in your course content.

5. Online Forums

Creating a place for online discussions where your learners can contribute content through sharing tips, tricks, hacks and real-life lessons from personal experiences are valuable social learning opportunities. You can start the conversation by asking questions or providing topic headings to encourage others to do the talking. Some of these could be taken as snippets and used to promote the training and add to the formal training content (subject to contributors’ permission).

6. Create a community

Why not add a corporate learning blog where learners can contribute and share content like infographics, videos, podcasts or written blogs to distribute useful information within the learning community environment?

7. Leverage knowledge

Encourage long-standing employees to share their accumulated knowledge and experience with fellow employees by contributing short videos or writing posts with quick tips, strategies, things to avoid etc. You could even ask former employees to talk about their experiences, things they wish they’d known, or letters to their younger selves. Not only does this help current learners, but it also shows you value past and present employees and invest in lifelong learning and meaningful business relationships.


Technology solutions for capturing user generated content

There are many ways to capture user generated content. It can be as simple as including discussion forums on your LMS to create communities of learning and sharing best practice to more sophisticated approaches like implementing an LXP. There are also additional tools available that can compliment your existing learning by facilitating structured, user generated content like Panopto or StoryTagger.


Hopefully, this has encouraged you to brainstorm ideas for generating UGC for your corporate training environment but if you need some help or inspiration, we’d love to hear from you. We have over 20 years' experience in writing, designing and developing online learning and, with our mix of consultancy and design services, we can get your learning on track and help your business thrive.

Get in touch with us today on 01737 244328 or submit the contact form and we'll contact you.