A seamless working and learning environment

In the past when L&D departments focused primarily on creating, delivering and managing modern training/e-learning the key learning technologies were e-learning authoring tools and a LMS to track and manage access to all content hosted on it. The LMS was seen as the hub of all learning in the organisation.  However, as there is a shift towards supporting all kinds of learning in the organisation, the need for a LMS is being questioned. It does have a number of shortcomings in the modern workplace and it is certainly not the place to manage and track all learning in the enterprise (even if that were a possible)

So, this begs the question, do you still need an LMS?  Nick Shackleton-Jones says.

“Probably, yes – but not for learning. An LMS is still a decent tool for event management and tracking regulatory compliance (for example using elearning modules) – but you should consider it to be largely independent from your (real) learning systems.”

Josh Bersin agrees

“the LMS is no longer the center of learning; it has become more like the back-office mainframe we use to run payroll. It’s there, it does important things, but we don’t see it that often“.

So as we look at how to underpin a Continuous Improvement, Learning and Development Framework, this requires a different technological approach; one that can enable a cohesive and seamless working and learning environment – rather than using a variety of stand-alone learning platforms that perpetuate the notion that learning is (only)a separate activity from work.

At the centre of this new working and learning environment is your organisation’s social collaboration platform. A collaboration tool, like Slack, that supports team working is ideal for this, as it used by teams and groups to underpin their work. [Note: Slack is a very popular tool, it has been rising up the Top Tools for Learning list and in 2018 it was in 9th place overall and 6th place on the Top 100 Tools for Workplace Learning (WPL100) list. in May 2018 Slack announced it had 8 million “daily active users,” across 500,000 organizations, with 77% of the Fortune 100 having adopted it. Meanwhile Microsoft Teams (the team hub space within Office365) is catching up (and is now in 27th place overall and 22nd place on the WPL100 list.

An additional advantage for using a tool like Slack (or Microsoft Teams) is that they support apps and integrations from a wide range of tools and platforms, which means that you can integrate all your learning activities and resources right inside the workspace, and platforms can be accessed directly from Slack – and this can includes the LMS!

Further advantages of creating such a seamless working and learning environment are that

  • all the knowledge and experiences from different activities are not locked away in separate systems that require individual passwords; and
  • an employee’s personal stream of content will come from all their subscribed work and learning channels.

(For more information the use of collaboration teams within teams, see the upcoming section: Help teams and groups make use of a collaboration platform)

In the following sections of this book as we consider the three pillars of activity involved in providing a continuous improvement, learning and development framework, we will also look at the tools and platforms to underpin it, and how they can work closely together. But first a word about that “learning” word.


How do you view a “learning platform”? Is it a LMS or a seamless working and learning environment as described here?

A word about the “learning” word

Last updated: October 12, 2018 at 8:50 am

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