A start on informal learning?

For the last year or two I’ve been banging away to people about supporting informal learning as much as we support formal, but the message that has come back has always been ‘curriculum, curriculum, curriculum’.

However a recent project had me involved in setting up a portal for three top management priorities. I had a hand in the design and usability, but not the direction or selection of content. For each of the three topic areas, there were one or two face to face courses and an area for ‘resources’ – almost all of them PDFs, but some links to external sites. In the design phase we thought it was going to be around ten of these resources for each area, but in the few months since the portal was launched, the trainers and managers behind it have been slinging up PDFs with gay abandon. One section now has nearly 50. I deduce the thinking to have been ‘that was an interesting article, I’ll get permission and share it.”  While it’s rendered the alphabetic drop down list I set up for less than ten articles hopeless, I have to say I’m pleased we seem to have taken a step towards knowledge sharing and away from a formal curriculum.

Does this sound to you like a start on informal learning?  What would make it better?

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2 thoughts on “A start on informal learning?

  1. Hi Norman,
    Have you got a search engine that can search inside the pdfs?
    Have you got a portal application that can make recommendations based on usage?
    Can users rate or comment on the content?
    Those would be my top three priorities.
    Cheers,
    Mark

  2. Good points, Mark. We’re about to start build two and I’d included the commenting facility in what I wanted to put forward, but the other points should be on the table too.

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