Promoting Informal Learning at the Workplace—Featuring 5 Examples

In our early years, informal learning is the significant way we learn. In fact, we continue to learn through this approach even at the workplace. In spite of this, many people are skeptical about the impact of informal learning at the workplace. However, I believe that it should be part of the overall learning strategy as learners respond positively to it and organizations can easily provide support to promote it.

In this blog, I begin with the definition of formal and informal learning and outline the key differences between them. Then, I share the benefits you will see as you promote it. I wrap up with 5 informal learning examples that you can use.

What Is the Difference Between Formal and Informal Learning?

Formal learning is gained through structured or formal training. Typically, managed by L&D teams, it is based on the Training Needs Analysis (TNA). As a logical extension, it has definite learning outcomes. It will typically have assessments to check how learners fared against the desired gain.

Formal trainings are delivered through structured formats that may include one or all of the following:

  1. Instructor Led Training (ILT).
  2. Virtual Instructor Led Training (VILT).
  3. Online Training.
  4. Blended Training.

Most of the times, this training is managed by L&D teams and would have a roll-out and completion schedule.

Informal learning on the other hand is the impromptu or spontaneous learning. It is triggered, driven, and sustained by the learner’s intrinsic motivation and passion to learn. It can have varied elements that can include learning from others, practice, reflection, or evaluation of new aspects of interest.

What Are the Benefits That Informal Learning Offers?

  1. Focused learning: I believe the biggest advantage that informal learning offers is the sense of control that it offers. As adult learners we like this.
  2. Higher relevancy: It enables learners to have a more satisfying learning experience as it does not have the pressure to complete by a certain date, clear the test, achieve a certain level of scores and so on.
  3. Flexible learning: Since informal learning is driven by the learners, they can piece the learning journey from various sources and different channels. This will match their learning styles, their aspirations, and the way they want to learn.
  4. Continuous learning: Again, since the control of informal learning is with the learner, it need not stop as a given training session is over. Instead, it allows learners to be on a continuous path to enhance their skills, practice, and improve their baseline proficiency to the required levels of mastery.

How Can You Promote and Use Informal Learning at the Workplace?

Learning at the workplace happens all the time. Even without realizing we are watching and learning during meetings, discussions, or over a coffee.

You would possibly relate to some of the situations:

  1. Sharing the strategy that worked—during the sales review meeting.
  2. Tips on handling a difficult customer situation—during the project management review meeting.
  3. Sharing the best practices that helped you optimize a specific task.
  4. Sharing a link on how the organization-wide tool can be used optimally.
  5. Coaching or mentoring by a colleague when you were stuck in a transaction.

5 Informal Learning Examples That Illustrate How Organizations Can Promote Informal Learning at the Workplace

Organizations can further facilitate informal learning in many ways, including using the following 5 informal learning examples that I am about to share. These informal learning examples reflect the semi-structured support for informal learning that will go a long way in promoting a better learning culture.

  1. Example 1: Facilitated or semi-formal forums that encourage knowledge sharing, problem solving, or change management.
  2. Example 2: Curated content that allows learners to pick learning nuggets that are of interest or will help them perform better or address a problem.
  3. Example 3: Coaching and mentoring or buddying up a new inductee as they learn the ropes.
  4. Example 4: Informal Expert speak sessions (from the internal team or guest speakers).
  5. Example 5: Volunteering.


I hope this blog provides some ideas on how you can promote informal learning at the workplace. As you will note from these informal learning examples, this can be easily facilitated by organizations and will help you create a continuous learning environment.

If you have any queries or need any specific support, do contact me at

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Animations in eLearning : Some important tips to know

There is no doubt that animation has the power to take anyone into fantastical worlds and varied realms for a range of purposes. Over the years, animation has grown considerably from being a mere means to entertainment to an effective and excellent tool for eLearning. Since animation can be used to drive profound emotional quotient to the whole process of learning, the reception and comprehension of the learners will be much higher than with other traditional tools.

As such, this article is aimed to tell you how animation can be effectively utilized in eLearning.

Why to Utilize Animations in eLearning Process

When animation is talked as a means to improve the quality of eLearning, many professional dismiss the idea observing that it diminishes the value of the learning course and thus its credibility. This cannot be farther from truth especially if the content has been created with conviction and focus.

Let us see the use of animation in eLearning in close quarters;

  • It brings an element of levity and humor to the eLearning experience
  • Animations has the capability to drive conducing eLearning conditions
  • Carefully designed animations make the process of eLearning engaging and interactive
  • It can augment the value due it its bite-sized eLearning opportunities
  • It offers the candidate the power to choose their learning time
  • With the help of animations, complex issues and concepts can be easily explained

If you have not yet thought about making animations an integral part of your learning and development efforts, the above given factors will convince you why animation must be used in eLearning.

Tips to Use Animations In eLearning

How animations can be effectively utilized in eLearning process is always up for debate. However, if effectively utilized, it has the potential to revolutionize and shape the future of eLearning. The following eLearning animation tips will help you understand how an eLearning service provider can provide different types of animation services to bring better value and effectiveness to the process of learning.

Only use those elements that can emote well with the learners

By the very nature of animations, only when they are able to emote effectively with the learners, can it produce the result it aims to bring in. According to the subjects being dealt with, the animation must be able to adopt right tone and gravitas. If only the animation can reflect upon the nature of the subjects being discussed, can it educate the learners about the gravity of the situation.

For example, when the learning process is discussing about dealing with hazardous objects or machineries, the animation must skip levity to adopt a more serious and emotionally adept tone that can educate the learner of the dangers of using the same in ways other than mentioned in the manual.

All the elements such as the script, the choice of words, the music and the color palette used must all ensure that the situation is conveyed in the most suitable manner according to the situations being discussed about.

It is important to focus on one topic or character at a time

There is no doubt that animations may fall pray danger to the pitfall of becoming confusing or chaotic if they are not managed properly. When it comes to eLearning through animation, if enough care is not taken, it may progress without much focus as there is no limit to what can be created with the help of the technologies available today. As such, it is important to ensure that no time is wasted on creating elements that bring no value to the learner and process of learning.

Since the focus of animation in eLearning is to educate the learner, there is no need for the learner to be emotionally invested in the character or know its back story. Further, including elements that do not help the process of learning also must be avoided as they will not only act as a noise but also bring significant expense to the process of animation development.

Create animations that enable the learners to interact with the animation

Despite being powerful and exceptionally effective, animations suffer from becoming passive at times. Since there is no option to physically engage or become a part of discussion, it runs the risk of making the learning process extremely passive. This is a grave issue that can be addressed by making the animation interactive and indulgent for the learners. This will give the learners plenty of options to be active and involved with the process of learning improving the effectiveness of the learning process.

It is important to pair visuals with audio

Even if your eLearning animation has the best and most impressive visuals, poor audio choices can instantly pull down the value of the same. What more, it can outright render the video useless and less-watchable. If you did not know, audio has an innate nature of being able to connect effectively well with the learners. Further, an impressive and suitable background audio can create the most effective and immersive ambience for the learners improvingthe quality of overall learning experience.

Use eLearning animations to address complex issues

One of the most important and crucial benefits of animation in eLearning is that it can help explain complex concepts and theories in simple and effective ways. Whatever may be the topic in discussion, the flexibility of animation can be leveraged effectively to explain the same in simple ways that can be understood and comprehended by the learners. For instance, if you are trying to explicate upon a rather complex trend changing with time, a static timeline may not do the trick—it may even confuse the learner. However, using an animated timeline with clickable options displaying slides about the reasons as to why the trend changes will help the learner understand the same quite effectively.

It gives learners the power of choice

When it comes to eLearning, the learner has full control over the way the eLearning course progresses. This makes it extremely easy for millions of professionals who access your course when they get free time to improve their skill forte. The learner, thus, must be able to pause, rewind, and fast forward the content as they please, choose and find convenient. If the learner is distracted or not able to understand a certain aspect explained in thecourse, they must always have the flexibility to go back to the course as many times as they want to take full advantage of the same and comprehend it.

Animation in eLearning can be entertaining

Learning does not have to be serious and grim all the time and it can always make use of a little levity at times. Animation, in this regard, can prove to be the best option available in the market now. With animation, the process of learning becomes a little more entertaining and effective at the same time.

Animations can set the tone

The tone of the animations used in learning will also set the tone of the learners and how they must approach the learning process. An effectively designed eLearning course with focus and engaging tone will spread the tone to the learners as well.

It has the ability to bring academic content to life

If you use the capabilities of animation properly, it will help your bring your learning content to life with all its vividness and excitement. This will help the learners engage with the content better and more effectively since they can identify better with animated eLearning character who converse and interact with them. As such, character animation plays an important role in bringing content to life.

It helps creates the right attitude for future training

When the learners, especially your employees, understand that the learning process is engaging and worthwhile, they will become open to future learning as well. Since learning and development is a highly valuable and crucial element of a business’s growth, such a positive attitude of the employees towards eLearning and animation in training can steer the business towards better financial and growth prospects.

There is no doubt that animation can render your learning efforts excellent and value-adding to you and your employers. As such, while creating your eLearning modules next time, you can use these tips to improve the efficiency and value of the same.

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Section 508 and WCAG – Compliances to Increase Accessibility in Elearning


Have you ever imagined how a person with disability would access your eLearning course? May be you haven’t given a thought of designing eLearning in that perspective. But eLearning accessibility has been the industry hot topic now. And an eLearning course should be designed such that it works for everyone across the organization so that no one misses the training opportunities. In this blog, we will discuss the eLearning course accessibility challenges and corresponding compliances – Section 508 and WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines).

According to UNESCO, “Education is a fundamental human right and essential for the exercise of all other human rights.”

eLearning courses are not completely accessible to hearing or visually impaired learners – they miss-out some or major portion of the course content. And brings the need to create eLearning courses for differently abled learners. So as a learning designer we should know the challenges that Differently Abled Learners face while accessing the content.

Elearning Course Accessibility Challenges For Differently Abled Learners

A non-compliant course will pose following challenges for differently abled learners:

  • Visually impaired students can’t identify graphic elements present on the screen
  • It is difficult for a color blind learner to recognize differences in colors
  • Cognitive impaired learners find it difficult to comprehend the logical branching of course topics
  • Hearing impaired learner may completely miss-out the course narration or sound signals

Section 508 and WCAG Compliances to Increase Accessibility in eLearning

In particular to US residents, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and for global learners, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has developed accessibility norms for differently abled.

Section 508 and WCAG compliances in corporate eLearning development follow learner-centered approach to ensure your course is accessible to all.

What is 508 Compliance?

Section 508 is a law from Rehabilitation Act of 1973 that states U.S. Federal agencies to develop their electronic and information technology accessible to people with disabilities.

What is WCAG Compliance?

WCAG is an international standard by World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) that suggests guidelines for making web content more accessible to people with disabilities.

Note: Section 508 is a law in US, but WCAG is a recommendation for global learners.

Design considerations to follow while developing Section 508 or WCAG compliant courses:

  • No information should be conveyed using colors or variations in colors
  • Have fewer variations in slide layouts
  • Maintain consistency in structure, content, and other elements
  • Provide transcript for course general narration, videos and animations
  • Provide alternative text (alt text) for every non-text elements such as images, graphs, interactions
  • Provide brief descriptions about the links that take learner outside of the course such as internet / intranet
    Do not have automatic navigations
  • Allow learner to access the complete course using short-cut keys in parallel with mouse interactions


As Instructional Designers, we must not only consider the special needs of differently abled learners but be equipped with required expertise to develop an accessibility-compliant eLearning course that meets Section 508 and WCAG standards.

We will come-up with more on Section 508 and WCAG accessibility compliances in our next blog post. So stay tuned.

Original blog post:

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Understanding the basics of Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy application in eLearning


While the usage of Bloom’s Taxonomy (BT) to nail the learning outcomes has been used for training over several decades, the Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy (RBT) brings in an added dimension that enables it to be used more effectively to design eLearning.

In this blog, I touch upon the basics of Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy (in contrast to Bloom’s Taxonomy). Then I move on to showcase how can you use RBT to design the learning architecture of eLearning courses. Specifically, I touch upon how you can use RBT to bring in behavioural change.

What are the changes that were made to Bloom’s Taxonomy to create the Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy?

The Bloom’s Taxonomy was revised by Lorin Anderson and others. This is reflected as following two changes:

  1. Replacement of the nouns with appropriate verbs
  2. Change in the order of verbs (the last two levels were interchanged)

The figure illustrates the revised structure. For an easy reference, the Bloom’s Taxonomy is shared along side.

Blooms taxonomy and revised blooms taxonomy

Let’s see both these revisions in detail.

  1. Remembering: Recall information and exhibit the memory of previously learned material, information or knowledge (could be facts, terms, basic concepts or answers to questions).
  2. Understanding: Demonstrate understanding of facts and ideas by organising, comparing, translating, interpreting, giving descriptions and stating the main ideas.
  3. Applying: Use information in new or familiar situations to resolve problems by using the acquired facts, knowledge, rules and techniques.
  4. Analysing: Examine and slice information into portions by understanding causes or motives; make inferences and find evidence to support generalisations.
  5. Evaluating: Express and defend opinions through judgements about information, authenticity of ideas or work quality, according to certain criteria.
  6. Creating: Organise, integrate and utilise the concepts into a plan, product or proposal that is new; compile information together in a different way.

How can Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy (RBT) be used in designing eLearning courses?

The learning architecture of the eLearning course is crafted using RBT.

RBT guides the creation of an online learning solution based on the kind of knowledge and the level of cognitive/affective complexity of the course. The process of mapping the course creation to RBT ensures the learning experience is crafted as per an accepted and ratified framework. It also allows more time to craft an engaging online learning experience.

Application of RBT

  1. During the initial phase of a project life cycle, appropriate Revised Bloom’s verbs are applied to write the Terminal Learning Outcomes (TLOs) and the Enabling Learning Outcomes (ELOs) of the course.
  2. Once the TLOs and ELOs have been determined, the RBT also guides in determining the presentation style for individual frames in the content.

NOTE: The second aspect is the significant value-add that RBT provides to create eLearning courses. We can tag the content to various content types (Fact, Principle, Process, Procedure and so on). Looking at the nature of the content, we can identify how it should be presented in the online format (as static information, an interactive frame or a knowledge check that reinforces learning or validates the required cognition level).

Can Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy (RBT) be used to create or impact behavioural change?

The Affective Domain addresses interests, attitudes, opinions, appreciations, values and emotional sets.

If your aim is to bring about a behavioural or attitude change through the learning, then structure the information to progress through the levels of the Affective domain, as shown here:

  1. Receiving: Focus of attention and simple response to stimuli
  2. Responding: Active participation and reaction
  3. Valuing: Ascribing a value to an object, phenomenon or concept; ranges from acceptance to commitment
  4. Organising: Bringing together different values, resolving clashes among them and starting to build an internally consistent value system
  5. Internalising: Acquiring a value system that has governed the learner’s behaviour for a sufficiently long time

Please refer to the table that lists the action verbs corresponding to the Affective Domains that can be used to create the learning objectives in eLearning courses.

Affective Complexity Behavioral Terms
Receiving Asks, chooses, identifies, locates, points to, sits erect
Responding Replies, complies, describes, aids, performs, practices, reads, reports, writes assists, presents
Valuing Differentiates, explains, initiates, justifies, proposes, shares
Organising Arranges, combines, compares, generalises, integrates, modifies, organises, synthesises
Internalising Acts, discriminates, displays, influences, listens, modifies, performs, practices, proposes, qualifies, questions, revises, serves, solves, verifies balance

I hope this blog gives you the required cues on what is Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy (RBT) and, in contrast to Bloom’s Taxonomy (BT), how is it more effective in creating the learning architecture of eLearning courses.

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Additionally, you can take our online course on Instructional Design Fundamentals, one of the 15 Instructional Design courses from the first suite of our ‘InSight’ product line. For more details and to buy the course, click here.


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Top 9 Blogging Tips For 2018 To Help You Proclaim Online Dominance

The last 2 or 3 years have seen a terrific boom in various genres of content writing. We have noticed increased customer engagement due to excellent professional write-ups. Blogging, new as it is, has now come to the fore, making a big difference in the domain of content writing.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

Training Resources For Modern Trainers In 2018 And Beyond: 70+ And Counting

From associations and online training courses to podcasts and apps, we’ve collected the top resources for educating training professionals below. You’re sure to find something to help you do your job even better in 2018.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

How Bloggers And Content Creators Transformed The eLearning Industry

The blogging universe is expanding at an astounding rate. Today, we're able to find content and knowledge on a myriad of subjects at the click of a mouse. But what effect has the blogosphere had on the way we learn online?

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

Top 5 Reasons Why You Must Have Premium WordPress Theme For Your Blog

WordPress is for blogging sites, and this is a common phenomenon in the world of the internet. People know that they need WordPress to create their blog sites. However, they may not be completely aware of the fact that WordPress can help their blogs in various ways.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

8 Points To Convince Your Boss About The Usefulness Of A Corporate eLearning Blog

Your boss may be reluctant to embrace change sometimes, right? People are often set in their own ways and fail to see how a certain feature can aid them in raising productivity, changing undesirable work habits or introducing new work practices. In this article, I’ll provide you with 8 points to convince your boss about the usefulness of a corporate eLearning blog.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.