As emerging eLearning tools and platforms evolve to exploit always-connected mobile devices and changes in the way learners consume information, L&D professionals get to enjoy the sense of possibility that those tools offer to push boundaries.

Just as phoning in a takeout order and actually going into a restaurant to pick it up seems quaint—and wastefully time-consuming—so too does the old paradigm of putting large numbers of learners through a predetermined set of eLearning courses, pulling them away from their work to do so. New options abound for providing information and problem-solving assistance in the workflow and on demand. Try the emerging eLearning tools and platforms identified here. You will engage more learners and get better results.

  • Augmented and virtual reality offer ways to immerse learners in experiences that can aid training in processes and procedures, provide realistic simulations to deepen empathy and build communication skills, or provide in-the-workflow support for skilled technicians performing complex procedures.
  • Badges and other digital credentials provide new ways to assess and validate employees’ skills and mark their eLearning achievements, even if their learning takes place informally or outside of the corporate framework.
  • Chatbots are proving an excellent tool for spaced learning, review of course materials, guiding new hires through onboarding, and supporting new managers with coaching and tips.
  • Content curation enables L&D professionals to provide information and educational materials from trusted sources that can deepen learners’ knowledge and help them build skills.
  • eBooks, a relative newcomer to the eLearning arena, offer rich features for portable on-demand content that learners can explore, review, and revisit as needed.
  • Interactive videos provide branching scenarios, quiz learners on newly introduced concepts and terms, offer prompts for small-group discussions, and do much more to engage learners.
  • Podcasts can turn drive time into productive time, allowing learners to enjoy a story built around eLearning content.
  • Smartphone apps, available wherever learners take their phones or tablets, can be designed to offer product support, info for sales personnel, up-to-date information for repair technicians, and games and drills for teaching and reviewing content; the possibilities are limited only by designers’ imagination.
  • Social platforms like Slack, Yammer, or Instagram facilitate collaboration, sharing of ideas, networking, and social learning. Adopting social learning platforms encourages learners to develop their skills and contribute to their communities of practice, whether inside their companies or more broadly.
  • xAPI turns any experience into a learning experience. Adding xAPI capability to any suitable tool or platform means you can record learner activity and progress in a learning record store (LRS) and track it.

Leave behind a world where eLearning is limited to what works in a company’s LMS; explore the brave new world of emerging eLearning tools and platforms such as apps, chatbots, and other interactive and immersive experiences unimaginable only a few short years ago. To experience the future of eLearning more deeply, join The eLearning Guild—and hundreds of your colleagues—at DevLearn 2017 Conference & Expo, October 25 – 27 in Las Vegas, Nevada.