Measuring Informal Learning and how much is “scrap”?

Via Twitter and the #LRNCHAT hashtag, I’m seeing some recent postings addressing informal learning and the concept of “scrap learning”. The term “scrap learning” refers to learning that is not applied.

It seems that previously, scrap learning was seen as mainly a training issue and it has been analyzed in terms of formal training programs where specific learning outcomes are taught but not put to use after the training. The statistics indicate that up to 80% of such training ends up as scrap learning. http://www.knowledgeadvisors.com/archives/the-current-state-of-scrap-learning-and-manager-engagement/

How might this apply to an academic curriculum (which isn’t necessarily designed to be applied, at least not in the same way that corporate training is)?

And now the conversation is turning to informal learning and how it relates to scrap learning. It’s going to be the topic of a session in Atlanta next week:

http://greateratlantaastd.cloverpad.org/Events?eventId=263908&EventViewMode=EventDetails

It’s an interesting juxtapositioning of ideas and I hope to find out more about where this leads.

It seems to me that measuring informal learning is one of the most important things we can do (in both academic and training environments) if we want to truly reform education and optimize, for instance, how learning takes place via social media. Adding the notion of “what’s being learned but not used” could be quite a challenging — but also very informative — line of research.

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One Response to Measuring Informal Learning and how much is “scrap”?

  1. Found an interesting article today that describes research supporting the idea that what happens informally after the formal training is probably the most important part: http://www.careerjournal.com/article/SB122911147694102431.html

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