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ERIC Number: ED446234
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2000-Nov
Pages: 4
Abstractor: N/A
Incidental Learning. Trends and Issues Alert No. 18.
Kerka, Sandra
Incidental learning is unintentional or unplanned learning that results from other activities. It occurs often in the workplace, during the use of computers, and in the process of completing tasks. Incidental learning occurs in many ways, including the following: through observation, repetition, social interaction, and problem solving; from implicit meanings in the classroom or workplace policies or expectations; by watching or talking to colleagues or experts about tasks; and from being forced to accept or adapt to situations. Incidental learning is situated, contextual, and social. It is thus characterized by those features that are considered most effective in formal learning situations. Incidental learning can result in improved competence, changed attitudes, and growth in interpersonal skills, self-confidence, and self-awareness. Not all unplanned learning is effective, however. Because incidental learning is often not recognized or labeled as learning by learners or others, it is difficult to measure and harness for use. Adult learners often do not distinguish between formally and incidentally acquired learning or prefer incidental learning opportunities to formal ones. Several researchers have examined the issue of how educators can help learners make incidental learning outcomes explicit. An annotated bibliography listing 21 print and Web resources constitutes approximately 75% of this document. (MN)
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Publication Type: ERIC Publications; Reference Materials - Bibliographies
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Adult, Career, and Vocational Education, Columbus, OH.