Today’s education invites people to be both learners and generators of knowledge. A representative trend of this phenomenon is the content generated by the user or User Generated Content (UGC), which brings great advantages for e-learning.
What is the UGC
The UGC comprises any material created by students or users of a digital educational environment. It can be used as a support for both formal and informal learning. In addition, it includes formats that we are familiar with on the Internet, such as:
- Images, videos, and blog posts.
- Infographics and podcasts.
It also includes others that we are aware of, but may not identify as learning content. This is the case of question and answer or discussion forums (such as Quora and Reddit), user reviews (present on sites such as Amazon and Etsy), and virtual communities.
This type of content has experienced a rise in e-learning thanks to the availability of channels to share experiences and knowledge. Leading examples of UGC companies include social media and online training platforms.
Advantages of UGC for e-learning
Today, technological advances allow various forms of distance education. One of them is e-learning, which includes digital teaching and learning processes. Students and instructors are simultaneously connected to the same communication channel, or they access the same educational material on their own.
One of the main characteristics of e-learning is that it is an eminently communicative form of education. Virtuality forces students and teachers to interact using various mechanisms. Thus, they are constantly involved in collaborative relationships online.
This attribute connects directly to the UGC. These are the benefits that this type of content brings for digital training:
UGC benefits for students
Material created by e-learning users has several advantages over other types of content:
- Being created by its peers, it tends to be more user-friendly.
- It is also perceived as more relevant since it comes from the personal experience of the peers and not from an expert far from the context of the students.
- Promotes greater participation in the educational process. This leads to more active learning.
UGC Benefits for Organizations
Student-created content is beneficial to organizations. It is considered especially useful in corporate contexts because:
- It stimulates a culture of continuous training.
- Build an inclusive educational community.
- Reproduces specific knowledge product of peer experience.
- It promotes the recognition of the expertise of the collaborators.
- It contributes to the visibility of the brand and its values among collaborators.
This is how, at present, the UGC stands out as an engagement resource in its different fields of application. In the world of marketing, for example, it is a leading tool to bring a brand closer to its consumers. Also to promote remembrance and a sense of transparency about the company’s identity, products, and practices.
Its advantages make it an attractive practice also in digital learning environments. Here are some tips for creating a healthy UGC culture:
- Establish a channel to receive and share the content.
- Create stable and clear parameters on the material. Tips, examples, and templates can be shared to encourage people to create their own content. A curing system can also be designed to ensure the quality of the material.
- Analyze the target audience of the UGC to identify the knowledge they need. Use analytics tools or direct surveys.
- Offer incentives for content development.
- As you can see, promoting the creation of user-generated content is a solid strategy to build educational communities that are more involved and committed to the teaching and learning processes.