ERIC Number: ED441160
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2000-May
Informal Learning in the Workplace: A Brief Review of Practice and Application.
Cofer, David A., Jr.
Marsick and Watkins, leaders in research on informal learning in the workplace, suggest that this type of learning is a process that occurs in everyday experience and place it in a category that includes incidental learning. It may occur in institutions, but is not typically classroom-based or highly structured. It is unique to the individual, and control rests primarily in the learner's hands. Two studies offer compelling support for adoption and implementation of strategies aimed at facilitating informal learning in the workplace. The Education Development Center study suggests that trainers can specify the learning process of employees through four taxonomies condensed by content and then broken down to include content of learning, types of activities, and occasions of learning. The United Kingdom's Department for Education and Employment study offers support for implementing strategies for facilitating informal learning in the workplace and identifies conducive environmental factors and components. The literature shows the importance of the workplace environment and its role in supporting informal learning. The environment should foster curiosity; remove barriers to learning; permit humility; and provide rewards for learning in order to purposefully create conditions that increase the probability that work-related informal learning will occur. Two strategies that facilitate informal learning in the workplace are mentoring and career development and planning. (Contains 10 references.) (YLB)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A