The past few years have seen a rise in the popularity of informal eLearning. In fact, according to eLearning Industry, “95% of online learners say they want to use informal learning methods like blogs, wikis, and videos.”
This is no surprise, as more and more people are realizing that informal learning is more effective than formal training in terms of engagement and time spent.
So why is this? Why are people turning away from formal eLearning when they’re doing the exact same thing – sitting at a computer, watching video or reading content?
The answer lies in the user experience. Formal eLearning relies on instructional design, which includes building custom lessons from scratch, determining what content needs to be presented, and creating assets like videos or simulations.
It’s a time-consuming process that requires special skills and often leads to dry content with little personalization. Informal learning has none of these problems.
It is as simple as posting a blog post or video on your company’s website for your employees to access whenever they want.
While it may seem that informal learning is better for the learner (and thus better for the company), this isn’t always true.
A lot of informal learning can be boring, unengaging, and not at all effective. And if your company is looking to get more out of their informal learning, it’s important to know how to craft better experiences.
What Is Informal Learning?
To understand what makes for a good informal learning experience, it’s important to first define what informal learning is. Informal learning is any type of self-directed learning that doesn’t involve a teacher or instructor.
This can include things like a blog post on your company’s website or a video from YouTube. Informal learning doesn’t have to be boring or dry – it just needs to be engaging and personal.
While you might think that employees are more likely to learn on their own time than during the workday, this isn’t always true.
In fact, people are most likely to learn when they are in the middle of doing something else – while they are at work!
The most effective way for companies to engage their employees in informal learning is by making it as easy as possible for them to access the information when they need it and making sure that it isn’t too distracting from their main tasks.
Why Do People Love Informal Learning?
When it comes to informal learning, you don’t have to go far to find evidence that it is more effective than formal learning.
According to a recent study, “93% of respondents say that informal learning (including online and social media) has a greater impact on employee engagement than formal training.”
This is because informal learning can be tailored to each individual employee’s needs and work environment.
This means that employees are more likely to actually take the time to read a blog post or watch a video about something they need help with, rather than just glossing over it.
They also have the freedom to choose when they want to access this information – they don’t have to sit through an hour-long lecture in order to learn something.
Another benefit of informal learning is that employees can learn at their own pace – they don’t have to worry about falling behind if they can’t make every meeting or attend every training session.
As an employer, this means you can save money on expensive eLearning development, and as an employee, it means you can focus on what you need without worrying about getting behind.
However, it’s important to note that informal learning is not always better than formal learning.
While it can be a great way to teach employees things they need to know right away, informal learning isn’t as effective at teaching people about things they don’t have an immediate need for.
It also can be distracting – if you send an employee a video about how to use the company’s new accounting software and then they get an urgent email from a customer, it can be hard for them to focus on the video instead of the email.
Tips for Crafting Better Informal Learning Experiences
If you want your employees to have better experiences with informal learning, here are some tips for creating more engaging content:
Make sure that the content is relevant
This is one of the most important things you can do when creating informal learning content. Informal learning is most effective when it is related to something your employees are working on or trying to learn right now.
The more relevant the content is, the more likely your employees will actually take time out of their day to read it or watch it.
If you want your employees to learn something, make sure that what you are teaching them is actually useful to them.
Make sure that the information is concise
Make sure that the information you are presenting is concise and easy to understand. The best way to do this is by using bulleted lists, headings and sub-headings in your documents.
When someone reads through your document, they should be able to understand what you are trying to say without having to re-read every single word. This will also help them save time when they have to read through your document again later on.
Make sure that the information is interesting
This is also a very important thing to consider when creating informal learning content. The best way to do this is by making sure that the information you are presenting is engaging and entertaining.
Informal learning can be more effective when it is entertaining, because your employees will be more likely to watch it again and again. If you want your employees to learn something, make sure that what you are teaching them is actually interesting.
Keep it simple
One of the biggest mistakes that people make when creating informal learning content is when they try to get too fancy with their writing or their pictures.
If you want your employees to be able to understand what you are trying to say, then keep it simple and don’t go overboard with the images or graphics in your documents.
Create High-Quality Content with Cudy
In conclusion, informal learning is becoming more and more popular with companies. But while it can be a great way to get employees engaged in learning, it’s important to remember that not all informal learning is created equal.
It’s important to take the time to create high-quality content that is relevant and useful to your employees, otherwise, you risk turning them off from future informal learning experiences.
Cudy is a marketplace that offers content sharing services, including the option for tutors to create their own videos, articles, and other quality content. Cudy enables you to reach out to potential students in the most possible efficient way.