Best elearning communities (2020 update)
24th August 2016
If you are a learning professional, joining an elearning community brings the benefits of networking with your peers, finding new ideas, and even discovering that you're not alone in facing your challenges.
Thousands of other L&D professionals are learning from each other in these elearning communities. Here's a quick reference guide for making sure you're part of the most relevant groups on all platforms.
If you want some inspiration or to find out about best practices for the design of your learning, these elearning communities are the best places to start. We’ve included forums on specific software too – often your best route for advice or support on a particular learning tool is to ask other users. Thankfully, many software developers have embraced this approach by creating communities around their tools which make it easy for users to talk to one another.
Learning and Development elearning communities
There are some great opportunities online for L&D professionals to build their networks and discuss their challenges with peers. Some of these elearning communities cover a broad range of topics and others specialise, but they all offer a forum for discussion with like-minded professionals.
“The TJ Forum is a place for L&D professionals to share knowledge and opinions and to discuss any issues they feel affect their professional lives.”
Tap into the knowledgeable and helpful Training Journal readership in these forums. There’s plenty of practical advice readily available through a simple forum search, and if you pose a question, you’re likely to get a range of thoughtful answers.
Focus: L&D, training
“Join in the discussion with a community of thousands of HR and L&D Professionals”
Although the majority of the forums are closed to non-CIPD members, there are some interesting HR-focused posts in the freely available discussion boards too.
The forum is well moderated and attracts many posts from experienced HR professionals.
Daily visits to the community can reach over 7000.
Focus: professional development, HR
“The Learning and Skills Group (LSG) is an international community of over 11,000 L&D professionals interested in organisational learning and learning technology.”
The LSG is the official community of the Learning Technologies and Learning and Skills exhibitions. There are regular webinars and updates on the biggest exhibitions, as well as a list of sponsored L&D blogs.
Focus: organisational learning, learning technology
“The eLN is the number one source for guidance on best practice and future trends in technology-based learning and development at work, with over 3000 members in the UK and beyond.”
The eLN is a not-for-profit company run by the elearning community for the learning community.
From experienced learning professionals to long-time technologists, and those who have just entered the profession; the group supports everyone working with learning technologies. There’s a strong LinkedIn and Twitter presence too.
Focus: best practice, L&D
5 The Elearning Guild (LinkedIn group)
“The Learning Guild is a place where elearning professionals can share their knowledge, expertise and ideas to build a better industry – and better learning experiences.”
This LinkedIn Group for members of The Learning Guild (which can also be joined free-of-charge) is a global community where designers, developers and managers can network, discuss ideas and share the latest news.
Focus: L&D, networking
6 Elearning Global Network (LinkedIn Group)
“Networking group for professionals working in the elearning and instructional design industry.”
This is a group where L&D peers can debate and discuss a wide range of topics on any subjects related to elearning, learning, the learning business, and learning theory. It is aimed at the higher education, elearning, and professional training and coaching industries.
Focus: Global networking
7. Training (a subreddit)
“This subreddit is for training professionals to discuss and share tips regarding adult learning, distance learning, presentation skills, training-related software, instructional design, storyboarding, elearning, related technologies and strategies, and more.”
An overarching discussion and links board for all kinds of training, this subreddit is dedicated to learning professionals. For anyone involved in education in the corporate world – trainers, instructional designers, elearning specialists, training coordinators; essentially anyone involved in adult learning.
Focus: training, often involving tech
TrainingZone is where L&D professionals can seek guidance, opinions and up-to-date information on learning developments and trends that revolutionise the modern workplace. Topics include learning technologies, learning culture, apprenticeships, neuroscience-based learning, leadership development, engagement and performance.
HRZone offers advice, guidance, opinions and up-to-date information for HR professionals and business leaders on how the working life and responsibilities of the modern HR professional are being shaped. Topics include employment law, HR technology, leadership, recruitment, talent management, wellbeing, diversity, benefits and training.
Alongside regular articles written by L&D and HR leaders, consultants and industry commentators, both platforms deliver research, premium reports, and live and digital events.
Focus: Training, HR, L&D
9 Elearning Edge - For Rapid elearning Solutions (LinkedIn Group)
“If you are interested in organizational learning, training and improving human performance of your teams, especially with technology, you are welcome to be a part of this dynamic and vibrant global community.”
One of the more international focused groups on LinkedIn, and one that keeps a fast pace with the updates.
It can offer a different perspective on the usual elearning subjects and there are unique posts in this group that might help identify international trends.
Focus: international trends
Learning Design elearning communities
“Tap into the mother lode of creativity, experience, and imagination. E‑learning pros are sharing ideas right now.”
Articulate has built an engaged and friendly community that’s ready to help when you run into issues with their software. The community also offers guidance for when you’re planning your next elearning project.
There’s a popular discussion platform that allows anyone to start a thread and reply to others. The best part is, the Articulate moderators and staff members often chip in with some useful posts.
They also maintain a list of events focused on learning design, so you can meet up in-person as well as online.
Focus: learning design, storyline and studio software
11 Elearning Industry (LinkedIn Group)
“We are proud to have some of the top-notch elearning professionals in the elearning field share their knowledge, wisdom, experience and inspiration.”
elearning Industry’s presence on LinkedIn keeps you up to date on the latest posts and news from one of the most popular online elearning sites.
If you’re a daily LinkedIn user, then joining this group will give you a heads up on when to check out the main site for new or interesting content.
Focus: learning design, L&D
12 Innovation in Elearning (LinkedIn Group)
“Innovation in Elearning brings together people interested in sharing innovative ideas, great case studies, forward-looking insights and best practices about elearning.”
This group, started by Sponge, has an international membership that shares an interest in the latest techniques and opportunities for elearning. It was established to promote the creation and use of innovative elearning that engages learners and supports the ongoing and developing needs of businesses and organisations.
Focus: innovation, emerging technology, research, news
“Get support, share ideas and meet others from the community.”
The open-source Learning Management System (LMS), Moodle, has a community of users from all over the world, contributing to their many discussions around using and developing for the platform.
There are separate forums in a variety of languages and the members range from total beginners to seasoned veterans.
Forum posts: 498,000,000+
Focus: Moodle themes, plugins and features, general open-source development
“The central place for all discussions in the Adapt Learning Community. Everyone is welcome to ask related questions, make suggestions and leave comments.”
Comprising a technical discussion forum and a responsive eLearning forum, there are thousands of members in this community that focuses on best practice for creating responsive eLearning. Topics include learning design, art direction and sharing ideas, and tips and tricks.
It’s also the place to keep up to date on the latest releases of the framework and authoring tool.
Focus: Adapt framework and authoring tool, responsive learning content
“A place to seek & share UX advice.”
UX Mastery is the place to go for help with UI/UX design issues and many other UX-related topics such as graphics, code and tech development.
The discussion forums offer practical tips and advice on user-experience relevant to learning design. As well as troubleshooting your work challenges, it’s a platform for building your network.
Focus: user experience, user interface design
16 Instructional design (a subreddit)
“A community of practice for practitioners in the field to share their work and seek advice.”
A dedicated group for instructional designers to improve their craft and the industry at large. Although this group does not cater for anyone looking to get into instructional design, it does provide a variety of useful resources and advice for those looking to start out.
Focus: learning design
17 Elearning (a subreddit)
“This subreddit is dedicated to discussion of the techniques, difficulties and joys of creating, applying and evaluating eLearning of all types.”
Whether you have a question about an authoring tool or want to talk about LMSs, this subreddit forum is full of likeminded members who can help and discuss. As the subreddit has no affiliation with any organisation, the topics are wide-ranging and you’ll often discover useful content and links that you may not find in other groups.
Focus: learning design
18 Work Learn Mobile (LinkedIn Group)
“Learn from experienced mobile learning practitioners and read up on their experiences.”
A group created for informed, professional debate focused on mobile learning. Work Learn Mobile is an open discussion forum with the main aim of supporting members’ ability and efficiency.
Focus: mobile learning, multi-device
If you belong to any elearning communities that are valuable for L&D professionals that didn’t make this list, please let us know via twitter @_wearesponge_