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8 Reasons to Focus on Informal & Social Learning

  1. why organisations need to review their approach to learning and think about embedding informal and social approaches as a core element in the mix Charles Jennings Duntroon Associates 1
  2. Social & Informal Learning? 2
  3. Social & Informal learning is: the learning that occurs (mostly) Outside the Classes, Courses, and Curriculum model 3
  4. Social & Informal learning includes: Learning through Work “when working is learning, then learning is working” the learning that takes place through work - as part of work - rather than away from the workplace 4
  5. Social & Informal learning includes: Learning through Others “our world is others” Jerome Bruner social learning is all about learning with, and through, others 5
  6. Amy van der Hiel 6
  7. I learn best when …… COLUMN A COLUMN B Someone who knows something I I dialogue, question and discuss with don‟t, explains and describes it to me someone who knows something I don‟t I observe a demonstration I get involved and try things out What is presented to me is organised What is presented to me is organised according to the logic of the content according to the logic of how I work and learn I am told how things work I experience how things work are most of your selections from Column A or Column B ? from Harold Stolovitch 7
  8. formal vs informal learning? FORMAL  curriculum set by someone else  typically an event, to a schedule  completion is recognised with a symbol - certificate or check mark in an LMS  “pushed” on learners INFORMAL  informal learners usually set their own learning objectives  learn when they feel a need to know  proof of learning is in ability to do something that could not be done before  is often is a pastiche of small chunks of observing how others do things, asking questions, trial and error, sharing stories with others and casual conversation  learners are “pulled” to informal learning * from Jay Cross 8
  9. Key Drivers A. We‟re Working In An „Always- on, Beta‟ World B. B. Learning Often Isn‟t What We Think It is 9
  10. Our Always-On, Beta World 10
  11. Our World is Increasingly Connected information-rich attention-poor 11
  12. our lives are awash with information “In 2009 more data was generated by individuals than in the entire history of mankind through 2008” Harvard Business Review The Social Data Revolutions 12
  13. Information volumes are increasing most is unstructured half-life of the majority is decreasing 13
  14. People always connected having to deal with more complexity making more decisions further down the hierarchy 14
  15. We simply can‟t rely on the next piece of formal, structured learning to come around to help us do our jobs. It‟s unlikely to arrive on time. 15
  16. some basic business truths in an ever-changing world, continuous learning is the only sustainable advantage Jay Cross and Friends „Working Smarter Fieldbook: informal learning in the cloud” 2010 16
  17. Structured „Event-Based‟ Learning is inadequate in a world of continual change One of the greatest challenges for our profession is moving from being designers, deliverers and managers of learning to being facilitators of learning and performance consultants…. 17
  18. leaping the chasm* “Golden Age of Training” “Workscape” 1950-2010 2010+ * Internet Time Alliance 18
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  20. How did you Learn to Ride a Bike? experience practice, practice, practice reflection understand a few basic principles and then practice, practice, practice 20
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  22. Studies have shown that 70-90% of what employees learn, they acquire informally on the job Photograph © Reuters 22
  23. As long ago as 1998, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that people learn 70% of what they know about their jobs informally*. * Loewenstein and Spletzer "Formal and Informal Training: Evidence from the NLSY” 23
  24. the 80:20 model 80% 20% „INFORMAL‟ LEARNING FORMAL LEARNING Jay Cross, Internet Time Alliance “Informal Learning: Rediscovering the Pathways that Inspire Innovation and Performance” 24
  25. the 80:20 model 80% 20% „INFORMAL‟ LEARNING FORMAL LEARNING “Informal learning is generally more effective, less expensive and better received than its formal counterpart” 25
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  28. “What‟s the difference between learning Physics and being a Physicist?” Jerome Bruner 28
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  30. Ebbinghaus‟ forgetting curve Herman Ebbinghaus - 1885 Without context, around 50% forgotten within 1 hour 30
  31. Ebbinghaus revisited BEFORE DURING AFTER CLASS desired performance improvement knowledge acquisition Source: 2005 Stolovitch & Keeps 31
  32. Ebbinghaus revisited BEFORE DURING AFTER CLASS desired performance improvement knowledge acquisition Actual performance improvement POST-CLASS RE-ADJUSTMENT Source: 2005 Stolovitch (“I try to apply what I‟ve learned, „THE TYPING/GOLF PRO DIP‟ can‟t remember exactly, have no support, & Keeps return to old ways of doing things”) 32
  33. Ebbinghaus revisited BEFORE DURING AFTER PRACTICE CLASS desired performance improvement knowledge + 1st LINE MANAGER SUPPORT acquisition Actual performance improvement Source: 2005 Stolovitch & Keeps 33
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  35. It takes time to carry out a needs analysis, design the learning, develop content, then get it out to the target audience. Once we‟ve spent all that time, resource and budget we‟re not keen to throw them away…. we want to sweat our assets…. 35
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  37. Informal Learning a GPS rather than a roadmap 37
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  39. Give a man a fish and he‟ll eat for a day ….. 39
  40. some basic business truths Effective and efficient learning is both a profitable strategy and the key to business longevity 40
  41. how do we „formalise‟ Informal learning? Wrong Question! Don‟t try to “formalise” informal learning. Just focus on helping people do their jobs well and WORK SMARTER 41
  42. how do we „formalise‟ Informal learning? open up the possibilities of supporting the other 80-90% of learning that has been ignored for far too long 42
  43. how do we „formalise‟ Informal learning? “..embracing, encouraging and supporting informal learning is part of a greater workplace cultural change” 43
  44. what is „formalising‟ Informal learning? “Formalising” = incorporating informal learning into learning strategy and the core of your organisation © Reuters enjoying the sprinkler instead of drinking from the fire hose 44
  45. „embedding‟ Informal learning 1. Changing mindsets about how learning occurs 2. Engaging senior leaders to support change 3. Re-aligning L&D to better support informal learning 45
  46. The Eight Reasons 1. there are imperatives for continual learning 2. learning is a process, not a series of events 3. most learning occurs outside classrooms 4. the vast majority of learning is social 5. A lot of formal learning is ineffective 6. people learn better when they are in charge 7. there‟s inherent inertia in formal approaches 8. informal & social learning are cost-effective 46
  47. Charles Jennings Duntroon Associates Deakin Prime Seminar Series: email: Melbourne 20-22nd September 2010 Web: Twitter: charlesjennings Canberra 23-24th September 2010 LinkedIn: charlesjennings Brisbane 27-28th September 2010 Skype: charlesjennings Sydney 30th Sept – 1st Oct 2010 Flickr: charlesjennings Blog: (or from Internet Time Alliance Blog: 47

Editor's Notes

  1. We can provide class after class after class…… but if we can work as facilitators and put experts together with novices.If we can provide people with ACCESS TO KNOWLEDGE and teach them how to search effectively – rather than try to fill heads with knowledge – then we’ll stand a better chance of building high-performing teams and workforces….<CLICK>
  2. We, as L&D professionals, should be looking at every opportunity to make learning a profitable strategy and an important key to business longevity…<CLICK>
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