Measuring Learning in Informal Contexts

Learning is a process in which individuals use resources from their environment to build on their prior knowledge. The interaction with his or her environment results in a permanent change in a learner’s knowledge and behavior. Learning has traditionally taken place within formal learning environments such as the classroom. Informal learning encompasses all learning that occurs outside the confines of the classroom. Informal learning can occur at home, museums, after-school recreation programs, sporting events, historical parks, and trips to local community organizations. Learning activities of an informal nature can also be incorporated as complementary activities within a traditional learning environment such as a high school or university classroom. Informal learning activities differ from traditional learning activities in that participation is typically voluntary and not associated ...

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