During the CSTD conference, a few tweets led to a quick exchange on the demise, or not, of formal learning. Ger Driesen asked via tweet if formal was, in fact, dead?
So as promised, Ger, I wanted to add my thoughts and some clarification on what I think the current state of things are.
Jay Cross and Charles Jennings (and the rest of the Internet Time Alliance) speak of the 70-20-10 percentage ratio when it comes to learning in the workplace
However, when it comes to budgeting, comparatively little resources are made available – if at all – to support the informal and social learning efforts that constitute the bulk of these activities. Most of the available budget goes to formal learning efforts, and little thought is given to continuation activities or application of the learning, etc.
So, Ger, I know formal learning isn’t dead, even though we have all of this wonderful activities and resources like Social Media, Wikis, ePortfolios, etc. I do believe, however, that formal learning needs to have a bit of a re-think in the workplace. It needs to become more integrated into a continuous learning process so we can stop looking at these sorts of things as stand-alone “events”. By doing so we can (ideally) make select use of formal interventions only when needed for net-new material and harness the collective strengths of the organization’s knowledge base and SMEs to support ongoing and informal learning.
I look forward to continuing the dialogue with you.