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Formal Learning

Formal Learning is typically institution-sponsored, classroom-based, structured, and instructor sets the bounds on learn in regards of topic, time, and substance. [1], [2] Most formal learning focuses of topics of instruction rather than tasks which individuals perform. [3] Formal learning incorporates learning objectives with different types of courses: Instructor led, standalone, and online. [4] Training typically emphasizes practical skills that will immediately help in job completion. [5] Long term courses work to develop "generic abilities". Formal training establishes a foundation. [6] The goal is to create productive workers. [7] Many adult learners get a start in their profession through formal education. [8]

Even though employees gain skills in a training session, they often have trouble transferring skills to workplace. [9] "Formal training occurs in the absence of action; learners are removed from the day-to-day work to engage in lectures, discussions, simulations, role plays, and other instructional activities" [10] Formal learning has a number of barriers associated with it to include fear of examinations, fear of not knowing in front of peers, preparation time and logistics, and time requirements. [11], [12] An over reliance on formal learning may actually suppress informal learning. [13]

The focus on formal learning is understandable because it is visible whereas informal learning is not. [14] Formal learning should not be eliminated and replaced by a standalone informal learning environment. [15] Instead, formal learning can be leveraged to educate others about informal learning opportunities, methods and resources available. [16], [17]

References

  1. Marsick, V., & Watkins, K. (1990). Informal and incidental learning in the workplace. New York: Routledge.
  2. Walters, G. (2009). Learning integration: Can informal learning be formalised?. Training Journal, 51 – 54.
  3. Hamilton, M. (2008). No Jacket Required: Informal Learning’s Role in Development. Chief Learning Officer, 7(5), 46 – 49.
  4. Mattox, J. R. (2012). Measuring the Effectiveness of Informal Learning Methodologies. T+D, 66(2), 48 – 53.
  5. Marsick, V., & Watkins, K. (1990). Informal and incidental learning in the workplace. New York: Routledge.
  6. Korpelainen, E., & Kira, M. (2010). Employees’ choices in learning how to use information and communication technology systems at work: strategies and approaches. International Journal of Training and Development, 14(1), 32–53. doi:10.1111/j.
  7. Hamilton, M. (2008). No Jacket Required: Informal Learning’s Role in Development. Chief Learning Officer, 7(5), 46 – 49.
  8. Geiman, D., & Dooley, M. (2011). The Influence of Informal Learning on Staff Performance. Corrections Today, 73(4), 24 – 26.
  9. Marsick, V., & Watkins, K. (1990). Informal and incidental learning in the workplace. New York: Routledge.
  10. Enos, M. D., Kehrhahn, M. T., & Bell, A. (2003). Informal learning and the transfer of learning: How managers develop proficiency. Human Resources Development Quarterly, 14(4), 369–387. P. 370
  11. Bell, C. R. (1977). Informal learning in organizations. Personnel J, (6), 280.
  12. Geiman, D., & Dooley, M. (2011). The Influence of Informal Learning on Staff Performance. Corrections Today, 73(4), 24 – 26.
  13. Enos, M. D., Kehrhahn, M. T., & Bell, A. (2003). Informal learning and the transfer of learning: How managers develop proficiency. Human Resources Development Quarterly, 14(4), 369–387.
  14. Marsick, V., & Watkins, K. (1990). Informal and incidental learning in the workplace. New York: Routledge.
  15. Twidale, M. (2005). Over the shoulder learning: Supporting brief informal learning. Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW), 14(6), 505–547.
  16. Marsick, V., & Watkins, K. (1990). Informal and incidental learning in the workplace. New York: Routledge.
  17. Walters, G. (2009). Learning integration: Can informal learning be formalised?. Training Journal, 51 – 54.

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