In order to receive a well-rounded education, you have to take advantage of both formal and informal learning opportunities. Formal learning takes place in the classroom, with a professor imparting information to you in a structured way. Informal learning, on the other hand, is lessons that occur largely in a practical environment, where the learner is the one who sets the goals and outcomes of the lesson. With the rise of the mlearning trend, adding informal learning is not only easy but allows you to take your classroom lessons into the real world.
Experts know that combining formal and informal mlearning leads to a more successful educational experience. If you are a college student, there are ways that informal learning can benefit you:
1. It’s More Personal
Informal mlearning is often more personal and can be less intimidating for many. Instead of sitting in a classroom being lectured to, informal mlearning can take place in any setting, at any time. Because informal learning opportunities are often sought after by the student, they are more interesting and personal, and students are more likely to internalize what is being taught. Regardless of the subject, informal mlearning allows you to customize how you learn based on your interests and preferences.
2. It’s Cheaper
Wouldn’t it be great if every lesson we were taught was given without a price? Unlike the tuition of learning in a formal setting, informal mlearning often costs nothing. You can learn from social media, from people who you meet and experiences that you have, sites you like to visit, or by using your favorite informational resources online. Learning in this way is virtually free!
3.Taught By Experts
While there’s no doubt that college professors are well-versed in their subjects, nothing beats learning from a true expert. Think of it this way: would you rather learn how to dismantle your computer from someone who has read a book on the subject or from someone who performs the task several times a day? Experts in their field are more apt to share knowledge in informal ways.
4.Immersion Learning Works
For those that learn quicker when they can get their hands dirty, immersion learning is the best option. Instead of sitting in a classroom, students are given the opportunity to get out in the field and learn by doing. This is particularly true of foreign languages. Students report that learning a language is faster when in an informal setting. Using a new language rather than memorizing vocabulary is often the best way to learn. With mlearning, you can utilize the apps on your smartphone to assist in learning a new language.
5. Students Learn in Different Ways
Researchers have known for years that not every student learns in the same way. By incorporating informal mlearning with more traditional formal learning, students have a better chance of succeeding in school. If a student learns better with the formal method of teaching, they can still gain knowledge via informal methods, and vice versa.
As a college student, it’s important to take advantage of every learning opportunity that comes your way. While there are definite benefits to the formal learning process, students find that informal mlearning opportunities provide a wealth of knowledge that wouldn’t otherwise be gained in a classroom. While you are in college and as you enter your career, be sure to keep your mind open to the informal mlearning opportunities that surround you.
Autor info: Cesar Burwell is a freelance blogger and proponent of informal learning techniques and opportunities. As such, he recommends that you click here to learn more about degree programs in health that utilize informal learning.