Summary of Informal Learning

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Informal Learning book summary


7 Overall

8 Applicability

7 Innovation

7 Style


Do people learn best by sitting in a classroom taking notes? Not according to “eLearning” expert Jay Cross. Instead, he says, companies should champion nontraditional, informal learning methods, including: “unconferences,” “unworkshops,” “eLearning,” “Courageous Conversations” and even “grokking” (sci-fi writer Robert A. Heinlein’s term for “instantaneous, holistic recognition” or understanding). Cross says properly presented informal learning programs can give your firm a better return on its training investment than formal learning. He explains why that is and how to use his approach. Despite some repetition and fluffy filler, getAbstract recommends this book to learning officers, training managers and human resources professionals who want to know more about setting up informal learning initiatives.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What kinds of activities informal learning includes,
  • Why it is better than formal learning and
  • What to consider in setting up an informal learning program.

About the Author

Adult learning expert Jay Cross is a columnist for Chief Learning Officer magazine. He coined the term “eLearning” and is the former CEO of the ELearning Forum.



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Must mastering new information always involve classrooms, assignments and instructors? No. The most effective learning happens outside such formal environments. People learn more effectively with informal instruction – working with each other, seeing...

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