Informal Learning – What Is It Really?


The NPS Learning & Development community gathered from August 23 – 25, 2016 at the Forging our Future: The Next Century of L&D training. Dr. Allison Rossett of Allison Rossett & Associates delivered this presentation providing some clarity around informal learning and how to asses whether informal learning is right for your organization.

Session Abstract

Nailing Jelly to the Wall – when the Jelly is informal and Formal Learning. Thought leaders advocate for more informal learning. But what is this thing called informal learning and what might it mean for your organization? What about the far less popular and overwhelmingly more prevalent, formal training What are these forms really and in what circumstances are they most appropriate?

What you’ll learn

Dr. Rossett provided the following handouts and an online tool for reference.

Watch the Video


After reviewing the session materials, please consider the following reflection questions:

  1. What specific things could you do to add more informal (in Allison’s terms more “Yin”) to your efforts?
  2. What are some formal learning strategies which still provide some variety from classroom training?

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  1. This session discussed informal learning and how the organization could determine whether formal or informal learning was better suited to the needs of the organization when planning to develop training. It provides and excellent tool to assist training developers in making making a decision.


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