How could informal learning have been encouraged? First of all, by concentrating the formal training less on the technical skills of the staff and more on the human skills of department heads. It could have included things like group dynamics and communication training, to say nothing of corporate culture itself (which I still don’t see as a significant item in training course catalogues). Although this type of action is formal, it represents a direct investment in informal learning and could be added to the column of strategic investment rather than "just in time" fixes. They could have encouraged rather than neglected the potential of the expensive and hard to deploy groupware (Lotus Notes) they began investing in during the 90s. They could have looked at questions of corporate architecture (some did, by the way, but not necessarily with the conscious idea of stimulating informal professional exchange). They could have adopted an attitude of “visionary evolution” focused on the long term, taking into account human behavior; but of course the obsession with quarterly results still makes that difficult. Executives with long-term vision write books rather than struggling to impose their vision in the real corporate environment they work in.
Read the full posting here.
Then ponder the next discussion:
Then it dawned on me what the numbers really mean; we are using the government's term of informal and formal learning -- if the money invested in learning falls under a training department's budget, it is counted as formal learning; if it falls only under payroll, then it is being counted as informal learning.Read the full posting (complete with charts) here.
We are using monetary terms to define informal and formal learning. However, I think that most of us would define it more or less as Stephen Downes views it -- if it is managed by the learner it is informal, if it is managed by someone else it is formal.
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