Understanding Informal Learning Environments
Shannon Schmoll, Abrams Planetarium, Michigan State University
Informal learning environments play a major role in modern education be it through K-12 field trips, family visits, or inspiring life-long learning. There are a number of similarities and overlaps between formal and informal learning environments as they both are places for people to construct knowledge. However, comparatively informal environments are driven more by individual choice and interest, social-cultural influences, and novelty of the physical space. In order to accommodate these factors, how we study the informal learning environments and the outcomes we measure are shifted from those in the formal environments. This talk will explore the basics of studying informal learning environments as compared to formal environments including methodologies and current research.