If you are still thinking about a new strategy to use for your custom training program, you might want to give informal learning a try. This is one of the methods of learning that you can rely on. To help you understand what informal learning is, you might want to reacquaint yourself when it comes to what formal learning is.
To put it simply, formal learning is a form of structured learning – whether it is done face-to-face or online. It is when there is a learning outcome that is clearly defined even before you start the lesson. Most of the time, this form of learning is facilitated by someone else.
Informal learning is everything that a formal learning is not.
About informal learning in the workplace
To be brief, informal learning is when the learners are fully in control of what they will learn, where they will get the information, and how they will learn. Usually, this type of learning is based on their personal preferences. It can also be based on what they think is relevant and needed at a particular time.
There are many studies that reveal how employees rely on informal learning for the majority of what they know about their work. This can be done in various ways. They are doing their own research. Employees also have the option to observe others to learn the skill that they need to acquire. This type of learning does not have any methods or formal objectives.
While this is informal, this does not mean the workplace cannot incorporate it in the custom training program.
Why the training program should opt for informal learning
So what makes this effective and beneficial in the workplace?
One of the reasons why you should opt for it is because this is the earliest form of learning that we had. Have you ever wondered how children learn how to talk? How do they act around people? The most basic skills and habits that we have we learned through informal learning. That means this type of learning is something that comes naturally to us. Although we are less receptive as we get older (probably because of our biases), we are still inclined to absorb and adapt to circumstances surrounding us. We cannot help it.
Another benefit to using informal learning in custom training programs is fulfillment. Since the learner is fully in control of the learning experience, when they do learn something new, it becomes personally fulfilling. And since the learner is in charge of the learning process, they know what they need to learn. Not only that, it is set at a pace that is ideal for every learner. The activities and method of learning can be done in a fun and exciting way. At least, if that is what the learner wants to go through.
Since this type of learning informal, there is no need for a test or assessment. This will make it hard for the custom training program to monitor. However, there might not be a need to do it, as long as they control where the learners will get the resources for their informal learning.