"Good standard content and curated content are not rivals”: an interview with IMC’s Sarah Pitzius
Since the beginning of the year, IMC has been offering e-learning content on topics ranging from compliance to sales training to soft skills in the online library EduBase for standard learning content. In an interview, Sarah Pitzius, Sales Manager at IMC, discusses what matters when creating good standard content, and how standard and curated content complement one another.
Sarah, thank you for taking the time to answer our questions! In your opinion, what is the strength of IMC's standard content?
Fortunately, there are several strengths. IMC's standard content library covers a range of current training content, including subject-specific topics such as compliance. Our content team ensures that legal innovations are quickly translated into learning content as well as anticipating upcoming training needs. These colleagues take on the role of trend scouts. When customers and prospects express their wishes and suggestions in conversation, they must listen carefully. Overall, the users value the professional dependability of our content. In addition to the content we create ourselves, we offer a broad range of partner content that extends our theme portfolio. An appealing design and interactive elements, such as case studies and exercises, provide motivation to learn. Another important strength of our content is the technological aspect. We deliver our own content to customers in the Scorm format, so we are ahead of the competition in terms of technology.
And who develops all the content?
In the past, the content was created mainly from individual customer projects. Nowadays our Austrian office, based in Graz, is responsible for the development and preparation of our standard content. In order to meet our customers’ individual wishes, we often customise the standard content. The Austrian colleagues also take care of the implementation.
What are some particularly important steps in development?
For us, development is all about ensuring that the content is as generic as possible, so that cross-industry use is possible. At the same time, our project team ensures that all legal or professional requirements are taken into account.
In addition to the many positive aspects, has there been any criticism of standard content? And how was it handled?
Some customers found the content too general. They expressed a desire to reflect their own processes and corporate design in the content. We have solved this for the content of IMC with subsequent individual adjustments. Partner content also makes it possible to make minor design adjustments. In addition, some content was not available in the desired language versions. We have solved this problem by adding new localizations.
How does IMC decide when to develop standard content on a specific topic?
As a rule, the topics arise from discussions with our customers. In addition, our standard content team regularly adjusts what content will be developed next. Issues such as compliance or soft skills are always of interest because they play a role in almost every company. Therefore, we pay particular attention in these areas to regularly update and expand the content.
One final question: Content curation is considered a long-term trend in continuing education. Will curated content, such as learning content recommended to employees by other employees, make standard content obsolete in the foreseeable future?
No, that will not happen in the foreseeable future. Issues such as compliance will continue to be mandatory. Employers in various industries are required by law to provide their employees with training and review learning outcomes. Curated content cannot do exactly that, because it is "only" recommended, but in case of doubt nobody can vouch for its correctness and it is not linked to any reliable testing system. Of course, additional media can be used, to which the employees have free access and thus decide for themselves which skills they would like to acquire.