A growing trend over the past several years has led to the “portalization” of eLearning, especially as more organizations truly delineate the differences between formal and informal learning within their L&D organizations. Formal learning, consisting of typical instructor-led classroom sessions, has been the norm for organizations for many years. However, as more organizations have invested in enterprise portal and content management tools to expand upon the capabilities of typical learning technologies, informal learning has become more prevalent.
Informal learning is widely used to describe the many forms of learning that take place independently from instructor-led programs, such as performance support materials and systems, coaching, communities of practice, and expert directories. Informal learning, from a technology perspective, is primarily achieved by leveraging additional enterprise applications rolled out within an organization. From content management systems, to business intelligence tools and enterprise portals, more technology is being leveraged in the workplace to make informal learning more accessible to the end user. And the end user, the learner, is and must be the main consideration when rolling out an engaging learner environment.