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Learning about informal learning

May 14th, 2009 by Graham Attwell

I am in Evora in Portugal at a two day meeting of the European funded ICONET project. ICONET builds on a previous project called Informal Competencies and their Validation (ICOVET) which developed an interview procedure for the validation of skills and competencies, a manual, and a programme for further training. ICONET is adapting and trying out the approach and tools in different sectors and different contexts in seven European countries.

The project has now only six months left to run and we have spent the afternoon discussing project dissemination. Mant of the discussions parallel recent talks in various Jisc programmes about how to ensure project sustainability and maximise the use of project outcomes following the end of external funding.

One measure is to design a range of dissemination products geared for different target audiences. New technologies can help gretaly – we havebeen looking at using video and audio as well as the more common brochures and flyers.

But the discussion today has also raised issues about what is realistic to expect from a modestly funded project. The ideas we have explored would require major changes to education systems if they were to be widely adopted. We do not have the infuence to do this. Probably the best that we can hope for is to show the possibilities of informal learning and hope that others will pick up and build on our ideas.

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