Most people don’t enjoy the process of learning; it’s boring and cumbersome. This is why informal learning is so powerful. It reduces the boring tasks and replaces them with learning activities that aren’t as tedious or boring. This is how most people have been learning their entire lives.
What is Informal Learning?
Let’s first define informal learning. The informal learning definition is a style of learning that happens outside of the structured classroom setting. It can include videos, self-study, reading articles, games, discussion forums, group chats in chat rooms, and more.
We’ve all been doing some form of informal learning our entire lives, whether it’s watching videos, reading articles, or listening to other people’s experiences. However, most people believe that instructor led training in a classroom setting exceeds informal strategies or online learning strategies.
So what is the difference between formal and informal training?
Formal learning is structured and intentional. Informal learning is the very opposite. There’s no structure and happens outside of the traditional learning setting. Some of the best informal learning opportunities are social learning methods. We learn through our own experiences, others’ experiences, and various other methods that do not feel like learning. At least not in the traditional sense.
Informal Learning Feature List
Informal Learning Examples
There are different types of informal learning strategies, and each come with their own advantages and disadvantages. Some examples include the following,
Mentoring is by far one of the most common examples of informal learning. A mentor shares their knowledge and experiences while encouraging growth for both mentor and mentee.
Watching videos has become increasingly more popular to gain new skill sets and knowledge on any given topic. Educational videos with an entertaining side help to boost retention.
Learning shouldn’t be boring or mundane, educational games make learning fun. It’s much easier to absorb the content when it’s easy to absorb content.
Weekly trivia quizzes are a great way to see how well your team is absorbing the content and reinforce the key concepts as well. Plus, quizzes are fun, and a little competition is always great.
Informal Learning Experiences
Informal education can be gained from our own experiences. You can learn from the community you live in, within your job position, and even social exposure. This is how most people learn, and it’s a lifelong process. Creating experiences through team-building efforts, learning projects, discussion groups, and live chats are essential to any organization.
Some of the best ways to create experiences within your organization are by,
Encouraging Social Learning
Social learning is about sharing information through repetition. Setting up small group exercises, mentoring, and learning networks helps to create interaction with co-workers. They begin bouncing ideas off one another and asking questions through the platform.
Build A Your Core Organizational Value
Be sure that your employees know that their leadership supports learning. Building a learning culture that your employees understand begins with a clearly defined core value. They need to know that learning is an essential aspect of your organization.
Have The Right Learning Environment
Choosing the right learning platform is an essential aspect of creating an effective learning environment. And with so many available options this can become overwhelming. When choosing a learning environment for your organization you’ll want to choose one that facilitates and supports learning naturally and in an easy to use formation.
Create Goals That Motivate
Goals are the key to any business, and when they have a purpose of providing knowledge in a fun way, it can make learning fun.
Simulations and Role-Plays
These types of learning tools will not only meet specific goals with learning but also creates experiences. Simulations and role-plays are designed to incorporate real-world situations within a structured environment allowing employees to practice and develop skills.
Role-playing different roles helps with collaboration and interaction within a situation that has multiple perspectives.
Creating a positive, productive learning environment can be achieved through various methods. The key to any learning is a positive learning environment. However, these don’t just happen on their own. These environments must be created. And that’s exactly what we do at NetExam. We understand the many components of making a positive learning environment for your specific organization.
Four Advantages of informal learning
- Self-paced learning with increased retention
We all learn differently, and for most adults, we learn better when it’s self-directed. By learning at our own pace, we can better control the things that we learn and how we learn them. This is one of the major differences between formal learning vs informal learning.
- Stress-free experience for employees
Unlike formal training where you have due dates, mandatory courses, and assignments, informal training eliminates that stress. There are no requirements, however, having an informal curriculum plan is necessary.
- Improves your employees’ knowledge naturally
Taking a course and acing your tests doesn’t necessarily mean that the knowledge you’ve gained can be put into action. Through informal training, there is a neutral process that helps your employees discover new thoughts, theories and ask more questions, therefore, improving your business. This is referred to as informal study – watching videos, researching articles, and forums to get the answers to their questions.
- You’ll save time, money, and resources
Of course, not all types of training can be done through informal education. There are instances that you’ll need instructor led training. But informal training can prove to be successful with tailor-made content in easy to digest formats that help your employees or channel partners gain the necessary knowledge that will improve your business without breaking the bank.
Start Informal Learning With NetExam
If you’re looking for sales training or channel partner training, NetExams eLearning training system can help you reach your goals. We provide a customized informal learning platform, online learning platform, or social learning platform.
Give us a call today, and we’ll discuss the best options for training your employees so that they retain the information, and know-how to best utilize the information to take your business to the next level.