Learning: traditional or independent?

This post continues the discussion among the members of the Internet Time Alliance about appropriate terminology for learning in the network era. This is an exploration, not an ultimatum.

The main point is getting the job done. That pays the bills. Everything flows from working smarter.

All learning is social, so that’s not really a useful distinction unless we’re stressing social networked learning.

Learning has replaced training as the term of choice. (For more on that issue, see transcript of tonight’s #lrnchat.)

There’s a continuum from top-down, mandated learning (“formal”) to self-directed, intrinsically-motivated learning (“informal”). Unfortunately, “formal” and “informal” are tainted words that invite misinterpretation. Formal can mean stodgy or accepted. Informal can mean casual or flippant.

I prefer calling the bookends of the spectrum of corporate learning….

  • Traditional learning — institutional control, paternalism
  • Independent learning — demand-driven choice by the learner

Traditional learning is not better than independent learning or vice-versa; context determines utility.

What are your thoughts about this?

Related posts

Understanding learning (Jane Hart)

Social media and self-directed learning (Harold Jarche)

Formalizing informal learning (Clark Quinn)

Interdependent Learning (Harold Jarche)

Informal Snake Oil (moi)