Creating learning opportunities: informal learning John Cook Learning Technology Research Institute London Metropolitan University.

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  • Slide 1
  • Creating learning opportunities: informal learning John Cook Learning Technology Research Institute London Metropolitan University
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  • Structure of workshop (90 mins) n Brief introduction (15 minutes) n Break down into groups (30 minutes) Discuss one or more of questions (negotiate with John so we get coverage) Appoint someone to make notes and report back n Each group report back (15 minutes) n Discuss issues raised (25 minutes) n John pulls out main conclusions (5 minutes)
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  • Informal learning n People are now averaging about 15 hours a week on informal learning (Livinstone, 2000) Employment Housework Community work General interests n Yet very little of this informal learning is supported by e-learning.
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  • Parent Rugby union fan Kids CETL Ops Manager Principal Research Fellow Student Self taught bass player PhD students John Play 5 aside football Formal vs informal Peel Bass B&A
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  • No single definition Informal Learning n Attributes of informality and formality (Colley, Hodkinson, et al., 2003) location/setting process purpose content n Non-formal a tutor knows about it n Informal under the radar or self- motivated
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  • Questions for group discussion (1) n Is there a distinction between life-long learning and informal learning? n Does informal learning vary across the difference sectors, e.g. HE, FE, Adult and Community Learning, in the workplace?
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  • More questions (2) n Measuring learning in informal contexts cannot be easily linked to outcomes, but to perceptions of outcomes? n How can we measure informal learning? n Do we want to measure informal learning?
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  • Yet more questions (3) n One problem is that a large section of people are not getting the opportunity to use digital media for informal or indeed formal learning opportunities and are hence being digitally excluded. n How can we design digital media that plugs into the motivations and emotional states of 'real people' in a way that empowers them? n Is there a linkage between the digital divide and the learning divide?
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  • What did we find out?
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  • Conclusions? informal learning vocational training specific skills course academic course vocational qualification Non-formal learning informal learning See Cook and Smith (2004) for further reading or al.htm
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  • References n Colley, H., Hodkinson, P. and Malcom, J. (2002). Non-Formal Learning: Mapping the Conceptual Terrain. A Consultation Report, Lifelong Learning Institute, University of Leeds, November 2002. n Cook, J. and Smith, M. (2004). Beyond Formal Learning: Informal Community eLearning. Computers and Education, CAL03 Special Issue, 43(1-2), 35-47. n Livingstone, D. W. (2000). Exploring the Icebergs of Adult Learning: Findings of the First Canadian Survey of Informal Learning Practices. NALL Working Paper #10-2000, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto.
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  • Acknowledgement: Aileen Ackland, Shalni Gulati. Walter S. Arnold granted me permission for gargoyle photos to be used in talk and handout, see


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