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Understanding the different informal and formal training and development to improve organizations an

February 23, 2012 Brendan Cournoyer Informal vs. In his book, Informal Learning: With the formal learning bus, "the driver decides where the bus is going; the passengers are along for the ride. What Is Formal Learning? Formal learning programs are typically synonymous with full-scale learning management systems LMSwith courses and curricula mapped in a very structured way.

As a result, content is generally created by a specified group of instructional designers and trainers. The content development process usually lasts longer with formal learning programs, as those involved are often tasked with creating long, thorough presentations and publishing via a potentially complex LMS tool set. Content and learning materials can be delivered via a traditional class room training model, complete with lectures, required reading and scheduled testing.

Live webinars and screen-sharing technology can also be used so that remote learners can attend the required sessions.

  • To do so, such training is usually offered in longer, uninterrupted modules to allow for greater concentration, and structured training is supplemented by hands-on practice;
  • Safety Training Safety training is a type of training that occurs to ensure employees are protected from injuries caused by work-related accidents;
  • In other words, a well-developed informal learning program provides information to learners anytime, anywhere.

Formal learning is a popular choice for companies that wish to have more control over the learning experience of their employees. There are a variety of LMS options to choose from, each with varying levels of price, support, functionality and flexibility.

  • Lectures A verbal method of presenting information, lectures are particularly useful in situations when the goal is to impart the same information to a large number of people at one time;
  • All of these benefits are likely to contribute directly to a small business's fundamental financial health and vitality Effective training and development begins with the overall strategy and objectives of the small business.

B2B Sales Has Changed: Informal learning programson the other hand, provide a lot more flexibility in the way content is both created and consumed. By removing the formality of a full-scale LMS, companies are usually able to create more content quickly and deliver it to their audiences in the way that makes the most sense.

Difference Between Formal and Informal Learning

The idea here is that rather than limiting the responsibilities of content development to a few instructional designers, subject matter experts from across the organization can now become part of the process. Since anyone can create learning resources quickly and easily, more content can be developed by those who best understand the needs of the learners.

Informal learning allows companies to save time on tedious live training sessions that are associated with many though not all formal programs and tend to cut into employee productivity. In other words, a well-developed informal learning program provides information to learners anytime, anywhere. How to Decide Between Informal vs. Is it difficult to leverage the expertise of others in the company? Do you have trouble getting timely messages out quickly?

How often does certain content need to be updated? Audience — Are live formal training sessions wasting too much time? Are the sessions having the desired effect?

  • These programs can run into the multi thousand dollar per participant level, a cost that may make them prohibitive for many small businesses;
  • The instructional design process includes the collection of data on the tasks or skills to be learned or improved, the analysis of these skills and tasks, the development of methods and materials, delivery of the program, and finally the evaluation of the training's effectiveness.

Do learners have trouble finding follow-up information when they need it? Tracking and Reporting — How many people need to generate reports?

Informal vs. Formal Learning: What's the Difference?

Do you need more or less control over required courses? What exactly do you need to track? Hopefully that helps clear up the basic differences between formal and informal learning.

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