Learning portals for on-demand learning
It is very important for individuals to have efficient timely access to learning content when and in the amount they desire.
Efficient access can be provided via profile driven learning portals. Based on a provided and learner customizable profile, the portal can insure that the learner is exposed to learning that others in the field, or with similar profiles, have consider highly relevant. By appropriate pooling of content the portal can serve the targeted needs of the learner while also increase efficiency and learner satisfaction. At the same time, the portal can provide strong search capabilities of internal and external content that the learner can access if the provided links in the custom portal do not meet the learners needs.
Additional efficiency can be accomplished by providing links to the learning portal from an number of enterprise applications. That way, the learner is reminded of the availability of these resources and efficiently linked to them right from the application where the need was made apparent to the learner. The referring application can also be provided to the personalized portal so that options can be provided that will fit the context of a learner's job, for example.
While the portal should make pull content easily accessible, the portal should also provide access to push content. Based on the needs of the organization this push content should be presented to the learner in order to meet goals such as compliance and other such top-down issues.
One useful item to be considered by the portal's learner profile should be the nature of the work. This can then affect the amount to push vs. pull content presented by the portal. Learners from knowledge intensive jobs can be presented with more flexibility while individuals from labor intensive jobs can be presented with more directive learning. Or as is the case in the medical portal I worked in recently, the portal made a distinction between practicing doctors and residents.
The goal should be to simplify access to learning in order to gained efficiency. The challenge to most is how to build these portals. Vendors are still struggling to cope with the higher degree of sophistication of these learning engines.