Originally published on August 25, 2017

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48th in a series of 50 Knowledge Management Components (Slide 62 in KM 102)

E-learning: tools that enable the delivery and tracking of online training courses

Learning is one of the basic activities of knowledge management. Organizations usually have a Learning & Development function as part of Human Resources, and it is responsible for a wide range of employee development, including classroom instruction and online learning. KM programs sometimes report into this function with the goal of better integrating knowledge reuse with learning.

E-learning is important to a KM initiative in several ways. KM training is an important people component, and e-learning can be used to deliver it. Integrating content from knowledge repositories into e-learning can improve its effectiveness. Delivering e-learning along with knowledge content returned through searches or through browsing can enhance the usefulness of the results and better leverage training content. Tracking training which employees have taken can help suggest new offerings they should consider as part of a specific knowledge requirement and as part of their ongoing development.

E-learning systems are examples of tools that enable demand for knowledge. E-learning allows users to learn at their convenience and at the time of need.

Video recordings can be helpful in showing how a process is actually performed. It is a good idea to enable videos to be delivered through standard e-learning systems.

If your KM program is part of the Learning & Development function, then you will have strong incentives to tightly couple the two environments. If not, then look for opportunities to establish ties to that function, and explore possible points of integration which will be mutually beneficial. At a minimum, provide a link to the organization’s e-learning tool as part of the standard navigation bar in the KM user interface.


1. E-learning: Which Side of The Coin? by David Skyrme

Knowledge management and organizational learning as being two sides of the same coin: learning comes through creating and applying knowledge, whilst learning increases an individual’s and organization’s knowledge asset.

2. The Future of e-Learning: a shift to knowledge networking and social software by Mohamed Amine Chatti

The main aim of Knowledge Management (KM) is to connect people to quality knowledge as well as people to people in order to peak performance. This is also the primary goal of Learning Management (LM). In fact, in the world of e-learning, it is more widely recognized that how learning content is used and distributed by learners might be more important than how it is designed.

There has been an increasing focus on social software applications and services as a result of the rapid development of Web 2.0 concepts. In this paper, we argue that LM and KM can be viewed as two sides of the same coin, and explore how Web 2.0 technologies can leverage knowledge sharing and learning and enhance individual performance whereas previous models of LM and KM have failed, and present a social software driven approach to LM and KM.

3. eLearning: It’s Time for a Reboot by Carol Leaman

The fundamental problem plaguing employee training is how to convert learning to performance. How do you train in such a way that real learning is transferred — and retained? How do you deliver specifically what an employee needs to know, and then have them apply it effectively on the job? And how do you know that it’s happening?

  • Break learning into smaller, bite-sized segments, and deliver them more frequently. Our brains are really good at processing 4–5 bits of information at a time. We’ll avoid learning fatigue and retain more of the knowledge.
  • Provide ongoing reinforcement of critical learning points through spaced repetition (aka interval reinforcement) and repeated retrieval (aka testing), which will give employees enough time and exposure to imprint the knowledge more effectively. There are many studies proving that repeated questioning of core knowledge in short bursts is far more effective at driving knowledge acquisition than one-time, lengthy learning sessions.
  • Measure knowledge, attitudes, and application more frequently. How successful are employees at answering the questions? Measurement helps direct ongoing training, and allows the correlation of application of knowledge to business performance.
  • Personalize the learning, so that every employee learns what’s needed for their job and then deliver training to specifically fill knowledge gaps, in a way best suited to his or her learning style.
  • Incorporate elements of social networking, gamification and recognition to the learning process. They are here to stay and are often the way many of us now get information. Get rid of boring! These techniques are proving to increase employee engagement, driving learning and retention.
  • Add mobile learning to the mix, allowing employees to learn when it’s convenient, where it’s convenient and to access just-in-time learning while on the job.


Q: What communities and blogs exist for learning professionals?

A: I asked my former HP learning & development colleague, Celia Bohle, for her suggestions. Here is her response. “There are many communities in the learning space:

  • My favorite one is Elliott Masie’s Learning Consortium. He does an excellent job in connecting Learning Professionals across the globe.
  • Another organization you may want to join is ATD (Association for Talent Development).
  • Facebook is also great way of connecting to Learning Professionals and to join Learning Communities.

Here is my list of favorite Learning Blogs:

You can tell that I do have a preference for Learning 2.0 and technology-related topics.”

Q: My company is currently looking for a fit for purpose solution for e-learning. We are a company of 400 people. We are looking for a SCORM-compliant LMS/LCMS solution. Do you have any recommendation?

A: Saba is one option. I recommend that you visit the sites of these thought leaders and see what they have to say:

Q: How have professional services firms addressed e-learning?

A: Here is a book written by members of Accenture:

Return on Learning: Training for High Performance at Accenture by Donald Vanthournout, Kurt Olson, John Ceisel, Andrew White, Tad Waddington, Thomas Barfield, Samir Desai, and Craig Mindrum

The in-depth, inside story of how Accenture revitalized its fabled corporate training organization in the midst of worldwide economic downturn and major marketplace change. The company did so by focusing on the “return on learning”: how Accenture’s investments in learning and knowledge management could be planned and managed to deliver measurable business advantage.

The Accenture veterans who tell this story take readers deep inside Accenture’s operations and decision making, so other professionals and companies can benefit from these experiences in using training to achieve high performance.

Table of Contents

  1. High Performance through Learning
  2. A Vision for Learning and Business Impact
  3. Proving the ROI in Learning
  4. The Leadership to Succeed
  5. Phenomenal Learning
  6. Running Learning Like a Business
  7. Using Technology to Create a High-performance Learning Organization
  8. At the Frontiers of Learning and Knowledge Sharing
  9. Learning and Value Creation: Accenture Looks to the Future


1. HP

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2. Deloitte

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  1. Knowledge Management Training
  2. KM Training Providers
  3. eLearning Weekly by Christopher Pappas
  4. eLearning Technology by Tony Karrer
  5. Elearnspace: everything elearning and Elearnspace: learning, networks, knowledge, technology, community by George Siemens
  6. The eLearning Guild
  7. An Alternative Way to Assess the ROI of e-Learning in Training Part 1 and Part 2 by Patrick Lambe
  8. Why Elearning Systems Will Never Rule the World by Patrick Lambe
  9. When does Learning and Development take over from KM? by Nick Milton
  10. User Generated Learning by Matt Moore
  11. KM & Learning: a match made in heaven? by Matt Moore
  12. The alliance of learning and development to knowledge management — SIKM Leaders Community discussion
  13. 12 Ways To Use E-Learning For Customer Acquisition And Retention
  14. Learning Circuits Archives — online articles on e-learning technology
  15. Learning Circuits Blog — ideas and opinions about the state of learning and technology
  16. Learning Technologies Blog by Association for Talent Development (ATD)
  17. Trailhead: The Fun Way to Learn Salesforce
  18. eLearning Learning
  19. eLearning Industry
  20. Elearning! Magazine
  21. eLearn Magazine
  22. elearning 101
  23. E-Learning 101
  24. Rapid E-Learning 101 by Tom Kuhlmann
  25. Free eBook: eLearning 101 — A Practical Guide by Christoforos Pappas
  26. eLearning 101: 7 Steps to Help You Get Started
  27. eLearning 101: 10 Must-Reads Before Creating Your First Course
  28. Top 50 eLearning Resources for eLearning Professionals by Dimitris Kaplanis
  29. Rapid E-Learning Blog by Tom Kuhlmann
  30. 50 Top Sources Of Free eLearning Courses by TeachThought


  1. Overview of E-Learning Authoring Software by Nicole Legault
  2. E-Learning Software by Software Advice
  3. 10 Authoring Tools For Easy eLearning Design by Stephanie Norman
  4. The Best eLearning Authoring Tools of 2017 by Juan Martinez
  5. Top Training Software Products by Capterra
  6. Top Course Authoring Software Products by Capterra
  7. 29 Free eLearning Tools by JP Medved
  8. The 13 Best eLearning Apps for Businesses by JP Medved
  9. Best Training eLearning Software by G2 Crowd
  10. Learning Management System (LMS) Tools


  1. The E-Learning Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide to Online Learning edited by Saul Carliner and Patti Shank
  2. Books on e-learning

Written by

Knowledge Management Author and Speaker, Founder of SIKM Leaders Community, Community Evangelist, Knowledge Manager https://sites.google.com/site/stangarfield/

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