The eLearning Guild revitalized our ongoing conversation about corporate digital learning with the launch of a white paper on March 29. What Is Corporate Digital Learning? builds on  momentum from digital learning sessions and discussion that occurred at the DevLearn 2017 Conference & Expo—momentum that will gain energy with our two-day Digital Learning Summit in May.

The eBook poses the question: What is corporate digital learning? This is deliberate; rather than impose a definition on the learning and development industry, the Guild aims to facilitate and encourage conversation about what digital learning means—to L&D professionals, to chief learning officers, and to corporate learners and their managers.

The white paper also describes how the Guild see the emerging digital learning paradigm, opening with a look at how digitally connected adults connect, learn, and solve problems in their daily lives—and how these behaviors are changing the behavior and expectations that the same individuals bring to workplace learning.

The old learning paradigm was built around the idea of creating eLearning (and face-to-face learning) content and, largely, sending employees to training sessions. This approach incorporates certain assumptions: L&D professionals create training materials; employees consume materials selected and created by their managers and the L&D department; and learners “take” training as assigned by their managers.

The new paradigm may be best described as a shift in the locus of control. Characteristics of this new corporate digital learning paradigm include:

  • Learners enjoy increased access to information—anytime, anywhere.
  • L&D might see increased emphasis on curating appropriate content and “vetting after-the-fact” learning materials that employees have accessed independently, rather than creating all eLearning content.
  • Learners increasingly expect that L&D-provided training materials and performance support tools will fully embrace the digital paradigm—which means greater flexibility and range of modalities.
  • Learning will be integrated more fully with doing; in-the-workflow assistance and problem-solving could take the place of some more formal “trainings.”
  • L&D teams and managers could see a shift from measuring training participation and completions to measuring performance and results.

Above all, the new paradigm for eLearning both demands flexibility of and offers new opportunities to L&D professionals, CLOs, managers, and modern learners themselves.

It’s easy to imagine the role of L&D professionals changing significantly as digital technology drives behavior change both inside and outside the workplace. And it’s not only designers and developers of eLearning who are likely to face changing roles: Managers and employees will also need to adapt their behavior to the new paradigm. For example, managers may need to coach employees in how to access and use learning resources on the internet rather than simply checking that they’ve completed mandated courses in the LMS.

Corporate digital learning is here, though the new paradigm for eLearning is still evolving. To sum it up in a cliché: The only constant is change. Join The eLearning Guild as we explore the impact of emerging technology and changing consumer and learner behavior on corporate eLearning. To learn more, download the white paper, register for the Digital Learning Summit—and become part of the conversation.

Related articles

What is Corporate Digital Learning,” TWIST blog entry by David Kelly. 11 August 2017.

Digital Learning: An Interview with David Kelly,” by Susan Jacobs. 6 September 2017.

Emerging Digital Learning Landscape: Flexibility, Opportunity,” by Pamela Hogle. 20 September 2017.

5 Reasons Execs Should Pay Attention to Digital Learning,” by Susan Jacobs. 27 September 2017.

New Approach Needed to Facilitate, Measure Digital Learning,” by Pamela Hogle. 2 October 2017.