Jay Cross helps people work and live smarter. Jay is the Johnny Appleseed of informal learning. He wrote the book on it. He was the first person to use the term eLearning on the web. He has challenged conventional wisdom about how adults learn since designing the first business degree program offered by the University of Phoenix.

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My response to this call for research on the effectiveness of one sort of learning…

posted on
March 17th, 2012
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My response to this call for research on the effectiveness of one sort of learning over another:

All of this depends on the context. Formal learning has not proven a very effective way to learn to walk or talk. Likewise, informal learning hasn't gotten people into many evolving conversations about theoretical physics or deep science. Google links don't teach you to ride a bicycle.

Rather than asking about research comparing informal learning to formal learning, you'd have to start at a more basic level: What is truth? Think about it.

All the best in the quest…


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What psychological research is there comparing informal learning to formal learning and non-formal learning?
Answer (1 of 3): I don't think there's anything shocking about this – informal learning tends to be in areas that someone either has a strong interest or natural talent, or both. In these cases, they…

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  • Harold Jarche - March 17, 2012 at 5:19 am -

    The entire field of science was created through informal conversations and observations amongst a distributed group of natural philosophers. Formal learning came much later.

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