When to Upgrade From Informal Learning to More Formal Learning

It All Starts As Informal Learning – No?

If not in the present – then back in the day, no?

It always starts as an Informal Learning Situation … and then sometimes moves to a more Formal Learning Situation. Sometimes.

Informal Learning

Unnamed Unstructured On-the-Job By Trial & Error. 

Also known as Sink or Swim. Nobody even names it or explains it, or demonstrates it, or provides timely, helpful feedback.

Good luck – you are totally on your own.

Gradients of Formal Learning

Named Unstructured On-the-Job By Trial & Error. 

Also known as Sink or Swim. Nobody explains it, or demonstrates it, or provides timely, helpful feedback – after naming it.

Good luck – you are on your own. But at least the thing was named – giving you a starting clue. You can at least ask others that you work with – if they exist, or your supervisor.

Unstructured On-the-Job By Coaching.

Somebody provides some level of explanation or demonstration and may even provide some feedback. But there is no structure and no guidance to insure that key topics and tasks and nuances are covered. Loose.

Unstructured On-the-Job By Coaching by Designated Coach.

A named – by name or title – person provides some level of explanation or demonstration and may even provide some feedback. But there is no structure and no guidance to insure that key topics and tasks and nuances are covered. Still loose.

Unstructured On-the-Job By Coaching by Certified Coach.

A named – by name or title – person provides some level of explanation or demonstration and may even provide some feedback. But there is no structure and no guidance to insure that key topics and tasks and nuances are covered. Still loose.

More Gradients of Formal 

Structured On-the-Job By Coaching by Any Coach.

Any person provides specific explanation and/or demonstration and/or may even provide some feedback to initial attempts at performance. The structure and guidance provided to the Coach and perhaps to the Learner insures that key topics and tasks and even the nuances are covered. Loose only in terms the uncertainty of the Coach chosen.

Structured On-the-Job By Coaching by Designated Coach.

A named person – by name or title – provides specific explanation and/or demonstration and/or may even provide some feedback to initial attempts at performance. The structure and guidance provided to the Coach and perhaps to the Learner insures that key topics and tasks and even the nuances are covered. Not very loose.

Structured On-the-Job By Coaching by Certified Coach.

A named person – by name or title – certified via a formal and measured certification process – provides specific explanation and/or demonstration and/or may even provide some feedback to initial attempts at performance. The structure and guidance provided to the Coach and perhaps to the Learner insures that key topics and tasks and even the nuances are covered. Not loose in the least.

Even More Gradients of Formal 

All of the following with the necessary set-up and wrap up:

Self-Paced Readings on Paper

Self-Paced Online Asynchronous Readings

Self-Paced Online Asynchronous Elearning & Simulations 

Last Set of Gradients of Formal Learning

All of the following with the necessary set-up and wrap up:

Group-Paced Online Synchronous

Group-Paced Classroom

Group-Paced Classroom/Lab

When to Upgrade?

When the ROI dictates it to be necessary.

Formal-Informal Risk Assessment v2012

The R can be for Rewards and/or for Risks. Flip sides of the same coin IMO.

And … it’s all about the assessment of the Seriousness first and the Likelihood second.

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