Microtraining as a support mechanism for informal learning
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eLearning Papers (November 2008)

Most companies are confronted with fast changing learning demands and the need of new concepts. Companies very much overestimate and overinvest in formal training programs, while missing out the opportunities to foster more natural and informal learning processes. For informal learning to flourish it is crucial to develop flexible mechanisms which support this kind of learning, while avoiding the drawbacks that coincide with informality. The Microtraining method is being developed as a mechanism to support predominantly informal learning activities. Microtraining should be understood as a learning arrangement of about 15 minutes for each learning occasion. Each session contains elements like an active start, demo or exercise, feedback or discussion and a shared view on how to proceed. Such an occasion can be face-to-face, online or in mixed modes depending on the circumstances and possibilities. The concept is based on a number of theoretical considerations of which Social Constructivism is an important element, next to the notions of ‘Connectivism’ and the ‘Levels of Mastery’. Microtraining requires an organisational framework to effectively apply this method relative to the learning issue, the skills of the initiator and the employees and their daily working schedule. In practice, it is shown that this framework helps to collectively develop solutions for workplace related learning with ample opportunities for information transfer. Microtraining supports informal learning close to the workplace, thereby increasing the learning capacity of the company. The Microtraining concept is being developed in the framework of the Leonardo da Vinci program of the European Union.
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