This is a quick post coming from comments on my last post about Informal Learning. Just to recap, I used this this definition as a starting point for trying to define Informal learning:
a type of education or training program in which learners define what they want to learn and learning is considered successful when learners feel that they are able to master their intended objectives (whether or not the course designers believe that the learners have or have not demonstrated mastery) [Carliner, 2004] (all emphasis mine).
Driscoll, M., & Carliner, S. (2005). Advanced Web-Based Training Strategies: Unlocking Instructionally Sound Online Learning (p. 118). San Francisco, CA: Pfeiffer.
So is this saying that informal learning is something intentional on the part of the learner? It sounds like it, because the definition says informal learning happens when “learners feel they have mastered their intended objectives”.
I agree with this in part – especially if it is learning for something project based. But is all informal learning intentional? Can’t you learn something because you are in the right place at the right time and something just clicks? What would you call that?
Let’s say for right now that informal learning requires some intentional search for information on the part of the learner. Does it matter if the learner was told to learn the objective? What if your boss says “go learn how to write in some new programming language. But I can’t afford to send you to a formal class. You have to learn it for an upcoming project, or you can find a new job.” Does the learning objective the boss has for the learner automatically transfer to the learner?
Finally, what happens if the learner’s objectives are met by a formal learning course. Is what happens still informal learning?
I’m not sure what I think yet. I have some ideas, but I’d love to hear from you experts out there!
Does this mean my learning objective is finding a good way to define informal learning?