Applying the CRAP Test to Content Curation

April 14, 2016 - 4 minutes read

Content curation has been listed as a future skill needed for L&D people. But how do we curate? What should we use and what should we discard?

 

content curation

There is so much information available to us on the web. We have a struggle to manage the deluge of data. The volume of video data is enormous, with figures suggesting 72 hours of video is uploaded you YouTube every minute (many of it silly cat videos).

“By 2016, 1.2 million video minutes – the equivalent of 833 days (or over two years) – would travel the internet every second.“ – Cisco

But it is not only video data, but other online content that is being created at increasing rate (probably by people like myself writing blog articles).

“Five exabytes of information have been created between the dawn of civilization and 2003, but that much information is now created every two days, and the pace is increasing.“ – Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman Alphabet Inc (Google)

So what are the key factors to consider when curating content, to allow us to sort through the information to get to the quality? For me,  I have identified four key factors which form my CRAP Test. If these four factors are not present, the content doesn’t pass the test.

The four key factors are:

  • Currency
  • Relevancy
  • Accuracy
  • Presentation

Currency

The content needs to be current. There is little point in providing content to learners that is out of date. The time that content is current for will depend on the topic. Curating content on educational technology, considering the rapid rate of change, you would be wanting very recent content. Other topics, such as educational theories, may have older content that is still current.

Relevancy

The content needs to be relevant to the learning objectives. The learning objectives should be central in the design and development of any educational resource. Consider how relevant the content is to the context, to the topic, and the learning objectives. Consider how it will help learners achieve the desired skills and/or knowledge.

Accuracy

The content needs to be accurate and true. Just because you Google it or find it on the internet, doesn’t mean that it is true. One of my favourite internet quotes that proves this point is:

Don't trust everything you read on the internet

Review the information and see if it is supported by other evidence or other authors. Consider where the information has come from. Is it someone’s opinion on a blog or an article from an online journal? Consider the reputation of the author.

Presentation

The content needs to be well presented. The way that the content is presented will impact on the engagement of learners, and their retention of the information. Printed content should be easy to scan and read. Videos should load quickly and containing quality sound and images. You should also consider accessibility issues with content presentation. For example, is there sufficient contrast between text and background colours? Is there a transcript available for audio or video content?

Applying the CRAP test to curated content gives you a short checklist of factors to consider. This will help make sure your content curation is of the best possible quality, and that your learners will be engaged when viewing it.