What is informal learning?

Written by SeekLMS Correspondent on 08 November 2021

Informal learning is the name of learning that does not have a structure and that differs greatly from traditional and formal, such as in a classroom. Informal learning does not establish a learning program with a predetermined beginning and end; This is given according to the contingent needs of users who consult sources of knowledge to solve specific problems or make decisions immediately.


How does informal learning happen?

There are certain distinctive characteristics of informal learning that differentiate it from more formal styles, such as that it is not a planned form of learning. It usually happens naturally and inadvertently with the user-facing a learning situation without knowing that it would take place. 


If you think a bit about this method, you will realize that this is how we have acquired much of our knowledge. For example, you are reading a book and a new word appears that you do not understand. When you google it and discover its meaning, you are learning something that was not planned.


Benefits of informal learning in companies


Directed by the user

According to various experts, learning in adults is best when it is self-directed and under their control. Informal learning offers these features since users can choose what to learn and when. In this way, there is a greater chance that they will be attracted to the content.


Relaxing experience for users

Informal learning is less stressful than traditional learning, as there are no required exams, assignments, deadlines, and courses. Therefore, the student only focuses on learning what really interests him and then putting it into practice in real life; that is, in day-to-day work.


Expand benchmarks and knowledge

Providing the necessary knowledge to employees through formal training is excellent. However, when created by experts in the field, it can get complicated, focusing only on very specific points. When an employee is urged to research the subject for himself, he discovers new thoughts, theories, and processes that broaden his knowledge. These external learnings can be incorporated into the company, improving the business.


Save time, money and resources

Certain training should be formal, but others should not. And when it doesn't, your collaborators can skip developing a learning plan, creating custom content, and more. They will only learn when they want and need it, avoiding hiring an expert and generating savings for the company.


Conclusion

In summary, although informal learning does not have a clear structure or objectives, it is still an excellent form of learning, especially for those company employees who are looking for an answer to their questions. Informal learning is straightforward and puts the student in control so they can learn when they need to. In addition, it offers great benefits to the company, since it represents a saving of money by not having to hire experts for staff training, and it keeps the employee relaxed because no tasks or exams are assigned.





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