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The New Enterprise Learning Footprint

Since the introduction of the first e-learning solutions in 1996, a lot has changed in corporate education and training. The first wave of e-learning started with self-paced learning followed by the fast growth of live e-learning. The next step in this ev

July 1, 2003
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Related Topics: Leadership Development, Blended Learning, Mentoring, E-Learning, Learning Delivery, Leadership Development

The Enterprise Learning Footprint consists of a portfolio of learning solutions that can be used individually or in a "blend" to transfer knowledge and build the skills of knowledge workers. New learning solutions include:

  • Online Collaboration: Leveraging the shared capabilities of resources through learning communities supported by a number of tools, such as e-mail, threaded discussions, application and document sharing, Web meetings and file transfers.
  • Online Coaching: One-on-one relationship between a learner and a mentor who provides guidance, advice and knowledge as requested by the learner, using e-mail, Web meetings and other Internet technologies.
  • Online Performance Support: Enabling employees to improve performance on the job using embedded systems, search engines, wizards and online job aids.
  • Online Referenceware: Access to Internet-based information and knowledge repositories that are made available in different formats, such as books, self-study guides, PowerPoint presentations, PDF/Word documents, etc.
  • Online Tests: Internet-based knowledge, skills and attitudes assessments that provide developmental feedback and/or progression toward certification.

In addition to these solutions, more sophisticated self-paced e-learning has emerged, like game-based learning and simulations.

Some of these learning solutions are still in the early stages of adoption in organizations. However, integrating a number of these solutions into your delivery portfolio can be extremely powerful, as they support a more just-in-time and individual learning experience.

One of the challenges is to motivate people to take e-learning and then to complete the learning experience. The nature of e-learning provides people with the option not to finish the course or program, as compared to classroom training where there is dedicated time to complete the experience.

Therefore, I strongly believe that the next trend is to design learning programs which include online learning management. Online learning management is at the heart of all the learning solutions and refers to the online guidance, facilitation and management of the learner's experiences. It creates the overall learning experience and supports the learning process, including registration, tracking, assignments, assessments, coaching, mentoring and reporting. In this concept, a virtual facilitator or mentor interacts with the learner and ensures the learner's progress.

Early innovators of this concept are accreditation programs developed by online universities. Based on these experiences, corporate learning functions have adopted this for some of their leadership development programs.

I expect that this successful learning concept will be made part of the design of a new generation of blended learning programs and will be launched for different audiences in enterprises.

Nick van Dam is chief learning officer of Deloitte Consulting and author of "The e-Learning Fieldbook," which will be published by McGraw-Hill in September 2003. For more information, e-mail Nick at

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