Informal Learning: New Age Education
The world is on an educational adventure that highlights informal learning. Interactive sharing of creative and innovative ideas in an informal learning experience has become a daily human exercise in self-education. Today, more than at any other time in history, thanks to social media tools, it's possible for autodidacts to become knowledgeable and expert in a broad range of training course content topics. This is new age education at its very best.
Informal Learning Experiences: Some Examples
In the past, it was always assumed that learning experiences must be filtered through formal teaching methods. Yet, social media access of today proves this to be untrue. There are several prevalent examples of informal learning experience that should be considered:
- Online blogs that present technical data
- Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia
- Daily Facebook postings
- YouTube instructional videos
When learning is cast in an informal environment, the minds of individuals feel freer to pursue information that, in a classroom course of study, might have seemed too difficult to understand. For example, a college student has the freedom to uncover information in a less restrictive platform from technical blogs presented by professionals in the sciences, engineering and computer fields. Instead of studying books that often seem overwhelming, users find online blogs more mentally digestible and take away far more knowledge and further advance the learning experience.
Other Examples of Informal Learning Experience
One of the best examples of informal learning experience is the simplification of research through an online encyclopedia such as Wikipedia. Writers and bloggers find they can quickly research a topic of interest and amass factual information on a variety of celebrities, politicians and others in current news.
Without doubt, the interaction between individuals in the Facebook community often provides a cross section of views and ideas. For some Facebook users, this interaction inspires a need to learn more about posted issues and topics.
YouTube is a good example of an informal learning experience. It's possible to find step-by-step instructions for gardening, cooking, baking, arts and crafts and small home construction projects. YouTube also provides a wealth of instructions in dance, yoga, Tai Chi, auto mechanics and chess.
Informal Learning - Learning for a Lifetime
With the ability to discover a world of learning on an informal basis, quality of life is radically advanced. Informal learning banishes ignorance and inability to increase education. It is education for a lifetime.[:in]
The look of informal learning in the workplace
Informal learning in the workplace is only one of many ways that your employees acquire the necessary skills and abilities they need to perform the duties of their job. Without giving it a lot of thought, informal learning happens when there are unscheduled and unofficial opportunities for learning to take place. As a training administrator, you can do your part to ensure that your employees have many quality learning opportunities.
Informal Learning in the Workplace
Sometimes you don't have to do anything for informal learning to happen in the workplace. It can be the result of a conversation your employees have with one another, or the result of an interaction with a customer where they walked away learning a new procedure. These opportunities happen frequently as a result of simply doing a job.
Despite the number of these opportunities that may happen naturally without any intervention on your part, there is always the need for more learning to take place. You can help encourage this by creating the chance for further learning to take place. It can be done in a number of ways, but one popular way is to incorporate informal learning strategies into eLearning courses.
When you use e-Learning in the workplace, your employees have access to learning opportunities at a time when they think they need it or when it's simply convenient for them. While some aspects of the course may indeed be "formal" types of learning, other objectives can be met by simply showing employees what you want them to learn. When teaching policy and procedure, you can also indirectly show them how to interact with customers in a positive manner. When demonstrating how to follow a step by step process, you can drive home the importance of following policy and procedure.
To promote informal learning in the workplace using e-Learning solutions, you'll need to invest in a learning management system (LMS). This robust tool will help you store all of your content in one central location that is easily accessible by your employees whenever they have a desire to use it.
Choosing an LMS for your business isn't always an easy decision. There are so many options on the market that it takes some time to narrow down the best one for your program. Litmos offers a chance to try the LMS for free. This is a great way to see if this tool will help you promote informal learning in your workplace.