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Creating a positive learning environment

More organizations are looking at alternative methods for instruction such as informal learning. [1] There are three trends pushing corporations towards adoption of informal learning: information overload, need for immediate access to information, and desire for learners to take charge of learning. [2] If you want a high-performing organization, then get employees to raise the level of training. [3] Learning must be a core value of the company. The organization must stress the need to learn. [4] In a positive learning environment, learners and employees should constantly be learning and looking how to improve themselves and the organization. [3] Informal learning rapidly adapts to changing needs and requirements making it desirable for business organizations to adapt to changing markets. [1]

Organizations must not micromanage an informal learning network. [5]Informal learning in an organization should have little structure and it must be voluntary but encouraged. [6], [5]

By integrating informal learning into the day-to-day operations alongside formal learning and normal operational tools, there is an increased chance that informal learning will be sustained. [7] Here are ideas for creating a learning environment: [3], [4], [7]

  • constant encouragement of training
  • stressing importance
  • make resources easy to use
  • publicize materials
  • publicize success stories
  • design informal learning spaces
  • encourage employees to put out signs indicating they are learning
  • arranged work areas for quiet study time
  • include informal learning in an individual's learning plan

Collaboration and discussion is a key component to learning. It is important to allow opportunities for employees to get up and talk with others about work as a way of learning. [1]Create opportunities to get people together for learning, it is recommended that these opportunities are also face-to-face. [3]When informal learning opportunities such as chats and networking become formalized they then take on a different form when made mandatory and observed by management. [1]

Section 1 | Section 2 | Section 3 | Section 4 | Section 5 | Section 6


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Boud, D., Rooney, D., & Solomon, N. (2009). Talking up learning at work: Cautionary tales in co‐opting everyday learning. ’’International Journal of Lifelong Education, 28’’ (3), 323–334. doi:10.1080/02601370902799077
  2. Galagan, P. (2010). Unformal, the new normal? T+D, 64 (9), 29 – 31.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Tobin, D. (2000). All learning is self-directed: How organizations can support and encourage independent learning . Alexandria VA: ASTD.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Cross, J. (2007). Informal Learning: Rediscovering the Natural Pathways That Inspire Innovation and Performance. San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Gilmore, A. (2008). Hands off: Facilitating informal learning. Certification Magazine, 10(10), 46 – 49.
  6. Bell, C. R. (1977). Informal learning in organizations. Personnel J, (6), 280.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Belliveau, V. (2010). The industrialisation of informal learning. ‘’’Training Journal’’’, 50 – 53.