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Amount of informal learning and associated budget

Many people are involved in informal adult education but they do not recognize that they are learning. [1] However, organizations understand that workers are continuously learning, and the importance this development is to the organization. A CapitolWorks study indicated that informal learning was 3 times more important to an organization than formal training. [2] A Carnevale report that estimates 180 billion is spent on informal learning, whereas, U.S. businesses spend up to $50 million on formal training programs. [3], [4]

While the numbers vary, at an individual level, informal learning accounts for 70-90% of an individual’s life, and 10-20% is devoted to formal learning; most of the time is dedicated to searching for answers to the day’s problems. [5], [6], [7] We do this alone or by communicating with others. In the workforce, informal learning accounts for 70-90% of a workers life. [8], [9], [10], [11]

Although, employees are involved in informal learning for a majority of their training needs, the amount budgeted towards informal learning is disproportional to that of formal learning. While 80% of training budgets are typically spent on formal learning initiatives, 70-90% of learning is informal. [12], [13] Additionally, normal routine informal learning is often not figured into the cost of training, e.g., supervisor providing OJT. [14]

References

  1. Knowles, M. S. (1950). Informal adult education: A guide for administrators, leaders, and teachers. New York, NY: Associate Presse.
  2. Hoffman, B. (2003). Informal learning: Managing the training function. Alexandria, Va.: ASTD. Retrieved from http://proquest.safaribooksonline.com/1562863908
  3. Day, N. (1998). Informal learning gets results. Workforce, 77(6), 30–36.
  4. Marsick, V., & Watkins, K. (1990). Informal and incidental learning in the workplace. New York: Routledge.
  5. Mattox, J. R. (2012). Measuring the Effectiveness of Informal Learning Methodologies. T+D, 66(2), 48 – 53.
  6. Tough, A. (1982). Intentional changes: A fresh approach to helping people change. Chicago Ill.: Follett Pub. Co.
  7. Quinn, C. (2011). Designing mLearning: Tapping into the mobile revolution for organizational performance. San Francisco: Pfeiffer.
  8. Day, N. (1998). Informal learning gets results. Workforce, 77(6), 30–36.
  9. Gilmore, A. (2008). Hands off: Facilitating informal learning. Certification Magazine, 10(10), 46 – 49.
  10. Hoffman, B. (2003). Informal learning: Managing the training function. Alexandria, Va.: ASTD. Retrieved from http://proquest.safaribooksonline.com/1562863908
  11. Rosenberg, M. (2006). Beyond e-learning: Approaches and technologies to enhance organizational knowledge, learning, and performance. San Francisco, CA: Pfeiffer.
  12. Mattox, J. R. (2012). Measuring the Effectiveness of Informal Learning Methodologies. T+D, 66(2), 48 – 53.
  13. Roy, J. N. (2010). Transforming informal learning into a competitive advantage. T+D, 64(10), 23 – 25.
  14. Marsick, V., & Watkins, K. (1990). Informal and incidental learning in the workplace. New York: Routledge.

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