Informal learning is ongoing lifelong and life wide process which is not organized, structured, spontaneous, the learners and teachers are highly motivated. It is said that informal learning is less valued because its outcomes are not quantifiable. informal learning is not tangible process and there are no exams, certification etc. it is difficult to measure it outcomes. That is the biggest challenge nowadays to recognize and validate the knowledge acquired informally in order to make it valuable, valid and visible to others so it can be utilized in formal environment.
1. Informal learning is never organized.
Informal learning is not having any formulas or guidelines. Informal learning is taking place anytime, anywhere, in different contexts including work, surfing on internet or leisure activities etc.
2. People learning informally are higly self-motivated
Unlike the formal learning environment of school, informal learners are often eager and attentive. The learners are interested in getting deeper knowledge in interested subject.
3. Informal learning is often spontaneous.
Learning happens anywhere, any time. The learner is motivated to get some knowledge about particular topic or get impulse to understand some topic. On the other hand the informal learning “teacher” is conscious about the necessity to share their knowledge or skills with other party in the particular situation. For example, at work new worker did not know how to operate the copy machine. The colleague noticed that and demonstrated in practice how to copy and make scan. This informal knowledge sharing helped new worker and was a great example of spontaneous informal learning situation.
4. There is no formal curriculum.
There is no program of study or prescriptive methods.
5. The “teacher” is someone who cares – and who has more experience than the learner.
In the informal learning the word “teacher” is here is a bit of a misnomer because professional teachers all have credentials, certificates or a teaching license. In the informal learning context “teacher” can be anybody who noticed the opportunity to share the knowledge/experience/skills with someone else.
6. The world is your classroom
Nowadays learning is not only happening in a school or in a classroom. Informal learning is ongoing process taking place everywhere: home, the neighborhood park, work, train, bus etc.
7. Informal learning is difficult to quantify.
Due to the fact that informal learning is not tangible process and there are no exams, certification etc. it is difficult to measure it outcomes. That is the biggest challenge nowadays to recognize and validate the knowledge acquired informally in order to make it valuable, valid and visible to others so it can be utilized.
8. Informal learning outcomes are underestimated. Often percived by academics and skeptics as being not worthwile.
Informal learning is often underestimated, perceived as the less valuable due to the fact that it is not quantified, not certified, not visible.
9. Informal learning is programmed in our life from early stage.
Everything that kids are learning happening informally: speaking, walking, good manners, eating etc. They are learning by observing and coping parents and the environment around them. Without informal learning, we would never be able to cope in a formal learning environment.
10. Informal learning is lifelong learning process.
Informal learning is a ongoing lifelong process. We are learning as the kids from the parents. As we get older, we learn from our friends. As we get job, we learn from our co-workers. As we retire, we still learn from friends and also from those younger than us for example you to deal with new technology: operate the computer, surfing on internet etc. It is said that informal learning is the process which keep people vibrant, mentally active and interested in the world around as well as it is essential for the intellectual self-development.