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Developing informal learning resources

If organizations want their employees to use their resources, they need to make them easily accessible. [1] There are three key elements necessary for informal learning resources: accessibility, quality, and timeliness. [2] Organizations need to ensure resources are available to the learner so that they will stay abreast of current methods and technologies. [3] By chunking information and making information easy to find; people typically will access a specific tidbit of information. [1] This will become increasingly important in a mobile learning environment. Finally, it is important that the tools help with learning rather than force learners to learn in an uncomfortable manner. [4]

Training departments need to: develop training materials, help others learn training needs, develop learning guides, help others access learning resources, and show others how to share knowledge. [1] Here are methods for helping employees access learning resources: competency maps, learning counselors, learning guides, learning leaders, peer coaching, and Internet access.

Technology can be a force multiplier in a learning environment. [1] Current technologies allow learners to decide where they will learn and is putting the responsibility on the learner. [3]Virtual conferencing is one cost savings idea. Virtual conferencing allows organizations to cater to dispersed groups at a cost savings. [1] With computers, conferences can be set up in minutes.

Sharing ideas

Learning resources can be supported with technology or not. The key is to provide a conduit to learning that helps the organization succeed.

Ideas for sharing ideas and learning new things: [5], [6], [1]

  • Placing professional magazines in the restrooms
  • Discussing new learning and readings at staff meetings
  • Having employees write book reviews
  • Encouraging professional membership in organizations
  • Maintaining an organization library
  • Reviewing business films
  • Holding crosstalks
  • Sharing the happenings of professional organizations
  • Becoming a mentor
  • Organizing informal learning opportunities
  • Encouraging others to create a video clip
  • Creating informal learning opportunities
  • Have a running question for staff meeting, "What has been learned to improve the organization"
  • Encouraging others to create a learning guide
  • Using technology such as wikis, blogs, and discussion boards to share knowledge
  • Creating a help desk for informal queries
  • Converting instructors into mentors and facilitators
  • Recognizing those pursuing informal learning
  • Encouraging others to teach a class

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

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Tobin, D. (2000). All learning is self-directed: How organizations can support and encourage independent learning . Alexandria VA: ASTD.
  2. Cross, J. (2007). Informal Learning: Rediscovering the Natural Pathways That Inspire Innovation and Performance. San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Galagan, P. (2010). Unformal, the new normal? T+D, 64(9), 29 – 31.
  4. Siemens, G. (2006). Knowing knowledge. Lexington, KY. Retrieved from
  5. Bell, C. R. (1977). Informal learning in organizations. Personnel J, (6), 280.
  6. Hoffman, B. (2003). Informal learning: Managing the training function. Alexandria, Va.: ASTD. Retrieved from