Digital learning has progressed rapidly since the coining of the term 'e-learning' at the turn of the century and now encompasses websites, ebooks, social media and online communities, online lectures, webinars, podcasts and microblogging. As such, it has proven to be a viable way of training and developing people in organisational settings, and one that forms part (though not all) of an organisation's wider learning strategy.

This factsheet offers a definition of digital learning in line with recent developments in both technology and the field of digital learning. It examines the three broad categories of practice in digital learning: Formal, informal and blended or supported learning, and investigates the role of social media and Web 3.0 in digital learning. The factsheet showcases new forms of digital learning, such as virtual learning environments, artificial intelligence, machine- and game-based learning, and considers the benefits and drawbacks of digital learning. The factsheet concludes by exploring the recent trends that are shaping the discipline, such as the wider use of collaborative technologies and approaches to learning.

CIPD viewpoint

What is digital learning?

Types of digital learning

Benefits and drawbacks of digital learning

Effectiveness of digital learning

Recent trends in digital learning

Further reading

This factsheet was last updated by CIPD staff.

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