Informal Learning - Rationale and Impact
Informal learning is not only delivered by maintream educational providers. All kind of social organisations and self organised entities may also deal with “informal learning” – and may not even be aware of it.
“Validating informal learning” is currently one of the top priorities on the educational agenda of the European Commission.
But there are major systematic obstacles to a validation of informal learning since the uncount-able variety of learning contexts, contents and the lack of specified learning objectives are limiting a standardised evaluation.
One should also keep in mind that the goals of educational administration and funding bodies in regard to a validation of informal learning
(->standards) do not necessarily match with those of the experts working in grass-root projects (->individualism).
These fundamental target conflicts have to be considered when evaluating “informal learning” especially in order to secure that it may serve those target groups that are already disadvan-taged in the formal education system.
The ACT-NET evaluation procedure is on the one hand standardised and enables at the same time grass-root projects to establish an individu-alised reference system for assessing and evidencing relevant competence of their beneficiar-ies in a process-orientated way.
The ACT-NET system allows users to evidence the impact of their work according to a standard-ised procedure while, at the same time, keeping up their individuality as informal learning projects in their specific contexts.