Having just read through the tweets from yesterday’s chat2lrn Twitter chat on evaluating informal learning, this tweet from Andrew Jacobs screamed out.
#chat2lrn A Q. for the people in the stream to consider later – if L&D default position was informal support, how would your role change?
— Andrew Jacobs (@AndrewJacobsLD) July 11, 2013
Take a look at those tweets from yesterday. A conclusion is that you can’t evaluate informal learning although it is useful to acknowledge it.
And that is what is very interesting, and potentially scary, for L&D. Acknowledging informal learning could be through conversation, tweeting, blogging – any form of storytelling. But it won’t happen in an LMS or corporate system (it might happen with Tin Can, but that’s a separate post). It might happen in a catch-up with a manager or in a performance review.
Surely the value is in acknowledging informal learning and communicating that so colleagues know who can do what and where to go for help. It also helps create a learning narrative. This is pretty much at the heart of Google’s approach to L&D.
And what if informal learning was enough for people to do their job? Where does that leave L&D? What about the ‘nuclear’ option – have no L&D function at all? Just let colleagues fend for themselves.
I don’t know the answers, and I’m being provocative here, but yesterday’s chat posed some interesting questions.