Multiple Modes in Corporate eLearning: Propelling Business IQ with Formal, Informal and Social Learning

John Ambrose, Julie Olgilvie


Recognizing that the shifting corporate environment is placing ever greater stresses on learning organizations, this paper reports how companies are increasingly offering employees a wide choice of learning options beyond conventional classroom training, including online, social learning, and other modalities in “blended” programs. Identifying a number of trends—a multi-generational workforce, remote employees, off-shoring and contract workers, and talent management requirements—that are contributing to the changing corporate human capital landscape, the authors suggest that these changes are transforming the learning enterprise, placing learners at the center and altering the learning mix with the introduction of web-based and other technologies. Outlining taxonomy of corporate learning, the authors divide the training enterprise into formal, informal, and social learning modalities. Under formal learning, they identify pre-work, groupwork, and post-work as principal elements. The paper concludes with a call for companies to deliver a comprehensive, multi-modal learning portfolio that cost-effectively satisfies a wide range of employee and corporate needs.


Off-Shoring, Contract Workers, eLearning, Corporate Training, Remote Workers, Talent Management, Multi-generational Workforce, Formal Learning, Informal Learning, Social Learning


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