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Performance Management: Putting Research into Action by James W. Smither

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What Is Informal Learning?

At one level the difference between informal and formal learning is easy to define. If the learner is in a classroom or participating in a structured computer-based training program, the learning is formal; otherwise it is informal. However, a few examples of different types of learning activities quickly demonstrate the inadequacy of this simple definition. For example, is the use of a job aid considered formal or informal learning? Is coaching or mentoring considered formal or informal learning? Is a lunchtime discussion with a classmate about a concept just covered in a classroom considered formal or informal learning? Is using a knowledge base or searching the internet for needed information considered formal ...

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