Posts Tagged ‘LMS’

This month’s issue of Chief Learning Officer has an interesting article concerning learning management systems and the emerging  practice of integrated Web 2.0 functionality within these systems to increase collaboration and participation. I believe this is a great move in the corporate learning space. Many companies have sophisticated ways of tracking  formal learning and an individual’s progression towards a certain task, but informal learning is much harder to quantify and record. As a result, many companies have ignored the impact of informal learning on an individual’s learning process.

As Ed Cohen writes in the article:

With the introduction of each new technology and methodology, our industry is trying to make things more efficient and more effective. However, we can’t increase the rate at which a learner consumes information, so now the object is to make it more available.

Informal learning helps fill in the holes that formal learning leaves open. Related readings, videos, social networking, and discussion forums are all forms of informal learning that people participate in on a daily basis, yet many aren’t even aware that this constitutes learning.

Much of informal learning falls into the category of “just-in-time learning.” Employees today, especially younger employees, are accustomed to having information available to them 24/7. They learn what they want to learn when they want to learn it. While an LMS is great for providing structured learning that is job-specific and will help employees excel in a given position, it does not always provide the answer to a particular task or question, which is where informal learning comes into play.

By implementing Web 2.0 tools within an LMS, companies can give their employees access to on-demand learning materials and facilitate a space for collaboration with colleagues. While this type of learning may be harder to measure and track, that shouldn’t prevent companies from implementing informal learning in addition to their formal learning activities.

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