Usually, when we think about learning, the image that comes to mind is that of a classroom where the teaching is structured and instructor-driven. It’s easy to forget that much of the learning we do is done informally — through conversations with knowledgeable people in our networks, through observation of co-workers, and through good old trial and error. In contrast with formal learning, informal learning is driven by the learner’s goals, and is often more spontaneous and social.
Recently, we were tipped off to the great infographic below from Jay Cross on the basics of informal learning. As defined by the graphic, informal learning is the “unofficial, unscheduled, impromptu way people learn to do their jobs.” We think this infographic does a great job of detailing the differences between formal and informal learning in the workplace.
Mr. Cross’s infographic also points out an interesting paradox. According to the infographic, although the majority of our on-the-job learning is informal, most companies invest heavily in formal training and workshops, which only account for 10-20% of what we learn at work.
More organizations should analyze the impact that informal learning has on employee productivity, and investigate ways to better facilitate informal learning in their workplace.
At Panopto, we believe that video is one of the most effective ways to informally share knowledge. Our enterprise video platform enables anyone in your organization to record their insights and best practices, share them co-workers in a searchable video library, and make social learning a core part of employee development.
In our complete white paper, 14 Ways to Use Video for Formal and Informal Learning, we help L&D practitioners make the business case for doing more with video, including:
Get to know the potential that video technology offers and just how easy it can be. Download the white paper today.