Informal vs. Formal Learning: Creating a Blend!

E-learning, Training  By: Surabhi Singh

Informal vs formal learningThe corporate training world often questions and evaluates the concept of incorporating informal learning. The question always arises whether informal learning

can be added to the formal learning and if so, how both can be combined together.   

Informal learning is the unofficial, unscheduled, and unplanned way to learn and gain knowledge, whereas formal learning is delivered in a systematic, intentional way with a reporting and evaluation process. While formal learning will continue to be fundamental to professional development, organizations can embrace informal learning practices to enhance their learning and training programs.

Let’s look at below tips through, which you can incorporate informal learning in to your formal learning and development programs:

  • Provide a knowledge management tool/platform for employees to share their learning after they attend a formal training/learning program.
  • Encourage employees to write down tips, answers to frequently asked questions after a training course, which can be shared with fellow learners.
  • Arrange for informal workshops or meetings where subject matter experts (SMEs) can share their expertise with co-workers.
  • Establish a Mentor or buddy program for employees to learn and discuss development ideas, goals with a high performer coach.
  • Encourage employees to learn together about topics that interest them, such as latest technology or methods in their discipline. Organize regular sessions where they can share their knowledge with a wider audience.     
  • Create a platform for cross functional teams to come and share ideas, create solutions. Most organizations have a “Friday Fun” concept. Why not introduce something like Share & learn Wednesday or meet & learn Wednesday to nurture a learning culture across the organization.
  • Encourage employees to recommend content to other learners through organizations’ intranet portal or other social streams.

Employees are more relaxed and eager in an informal learning setting and they readily commit to learning a new skill without worrying about exams or evaluations. However, the accuracy of learning material as well as the learners’ understanding cannot be assessed in an informal learning setting.  Also, organizations can deliver single information or knowledge resource to a large number of employees at the same time through formal learning methods, tools; informal learning for large groups is not constructive. Formal learning can also be monitored and reported and brings credibility to the organization. Hence, it is not impossible to replace formal learning with informal learning, however, it can surely add more value and engagement to formal learning practices.  Organizations need to thoroughly understand their learning objectives, challenges, target audience in order to create a balanced learning environment for their employees.

Recent Post

Connecting the dots: What Corporate Training Can Learn from Formal Education

When we reach our breaking point or time where we decide that we are officially done with our formal education, we often immediately……

LMS Partners – Gyrus Systems

ComplianceOnline is the largest online community for compliance professionals where burning issues, new ideas, and best practices are……

Gyrus Systems – LMS Events

System will be exhibiting and presenting at the ATD International Conference & Exposition on May 23 to 25 in Denver, Colorado at Booth……

Work at Gyrus Systems

If we have no current openings, feel free to submit your resume as a general submission below to work at Systems. Our opportunities often……

Client & Partner

Advancing the effectiveness of your clients' use of your software and services provides competitive advantages; strengthening the……

Case Studies

Case studies are a way for you to see our product in action. We have worked with a multitude of clients to solve real world business problems……

When Selecting an LMS – Small Company vs. Big Corporation?

Many of us are familiar with the saying…Big car, big house, big salary, just BIG. So it doesn’t come as a surprise when it’s time to choose a……

Making your Implementation Execution as Successful as Hamilton: An American Musical

Instead, a company should focus on fostering a culture of excellence. Excellent customer service flows naturally from a corporate……

Gamification – Badges, Levels, or Leaderboards?

Gamification is a buzzword you have undoubtedly encountered. The novel concept of taking something that is intrinsically fun and forming……

Surprisingly Cool Things You Can Do with an LMS

A short list of surprisingly cool things you can do with an LMS, with a consideration of your current environment and benefits……

My Mom and Customer Support

I spoke with my Mom last night. During our weekly conversations she enjoys reviewing the week, both the good and the bad. This call was……

Show Me the Release Notes!

I occasionally help out with RFPs. A common question is to provide a release or upgrade history (Release Notes) of our GyrusAim LMS that……

The Truth Behind Skills Gap

The skills gap is widening across many industries and organizations are struggling to find people with right skills set despite the availability……

Ensuring 21 CFR Compliance with GyrusAim LMS

Technology has so greatly improved the ability to track and verify training records and certifications via digital signatures that physical records……

Mad Skills – The Skill-Centric Approach

In the marketplace, you will find that there is a wide variety of people who are fulfilling the same role; however, at the end of the day, not……

How to Train and Develop Millennials

Everywhere you look there are posts about millennials, mainly focusing on their abilities in comparison to their predecessors. There are some……

Training Manager Frustrations: The Customer Service Solution

Everyone wants to receive good customer service and every company would like to think they offer acceptable to great customer service…….

What Business Application Training Accomplishes

In corporate training programs, often the focus is strictly on compliance. It seems that not everyone is hip to the idea that there is indeed……

The Benefits of a LMS For Government Organizations

While T&D is important for all industries, there is a lot of emphasis placed on T&D in government organizations. In current times it is……

Three Reasons Why Tracking Training Should Be Your Top Priority

Got training? Prove it. One of the most important factors in T&D is tracking your company’s programs. Who is certified? When is programs……

See Also:

-->