Last week, I was the Opening Keynote speaker at the Elearning Guild’s Online Forum: Collaborative, Social and Informal Learning: Where do Learning Professionals Fit In.
I started by paying a tribute to Jay Cross, who many of you know died in early November. Jay was a close colleague and friend, but he is probably best remembered for the book he released in 2006 on Informal Learning. Jay’s definition of informal learning is also widely used.
“Informal learning is the unofficial, unscheduled, impromptu way most people learn to do their jobs.
Informal learning is like riding a bicycle: The rider chooses the destination and the route. The cyclist can take a detour at a moment’s notice to admire the scenery or help a fellow rider.”
For Jay, informal learning was the natural and autonomous way that people learn continuously – both in the workplace and out of it. However, there is now a wide interpretation of what “informal learning” means, and in many ways it has become a catch-all phrase to describe a wide range of approaches to workplace learning, that might be described as “non-traditional training” or ”informalised training”.
However, what I wanted to focus on in my session in the Forum, was how to support the natural and autonomous learning that takes place in organizations – and to avoid any confusion caused by the term “informal learning”, I call it Everyday Workplace Learning.
Below is the slideset I used. If you want to read more about how to promote everyday workplace learning, you can do so in Part 3 of Modern Workplace Learning: A Resource Guide for L&D