At experimentQ we are interested in all forms of human learning, but particularly informal learning and non-formal learning. These two types of learning are happening everyday and everywhere, outside a classroom and lead to additional skills, competencies and knowledge for all of us. However, the learning that is not within a formal institution, often is undermined.
We decided to share a quick note to help understand what exactly do we mean by formal, informal and non-formal learning.
Formal learning, also called structured learning has always goals and learning objectives. It is delivered by trained teachers within an institution (school, college, university).
Informal learning is the opposite of formal learning. It is never organized and does not have learning objectives. The learner did not intend to learn something, usually it happens naturally, as an experience, because we are always exposed to learning situations outdoors or at home.
Non-formal learning is something in between the first two types of learning. Usually these are organised activities, like professional conferences, seminars, courses, etc. which are structured learning situations, but do not have the level of curriculum and not necessarily come with accreditation and/or certification.
Hope you got a better understanding regarding these forms of learning and the difference between them.