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Electronic Platform for Adult Learning in Europe



My greatest informal learning experience: a collection of stories - continued

Language: EN
Document available also in: CS

In our previous post, which can be found here, we heard stories from Zoe who learned about the property market, Theodore who learned about culture and Emma who learned about survival techniques.


Man with hands held out beside image of a virtual brain

Melissa learned about other areas of healthcare
Melissa is a nurse who works on a colorectal ward and her job involves a focus on stoma care. She had to learn about a lot of areas of medicine and healthcare in order to practise as nurse, but there are many areas she isn’t so confident with, as a detailed knowledge of most areas of medicine involves a specialised focus. Recently she joined other nurses who studied at her university for their nursing qualifications for a meal to catch up and maintain social connections. She asked her friend Max how he was finding work and gained knowledge in a new area of healthcare.

“Max works on a neurology ward and this is an area of medicine and healthcare that I don’t know a lot about. As he was telling me about his experiences, I ;learned about neuroscience – in particular what is required when nurses carry out neuro observations and the specific procedures that nurses have to adhere to.”

Informal learning frequently surfaces through casual conversations. Although you may not be expecting to gain anything from asking how your friend’s day or working life is going, it is certainly possible to leave with knowledge of a new area that may help you in your own job role in the future.


Sarah learned about Portugal
Sarah’s partner is Portuguese and before she met him, she knew little about the country, other than it being a sunny holiday destination. Her partner has helped to expose her to Portuguese culture and has taught her about different locations within the country. She has also learned a lot about traditional cuisine and even picked up some of the language.

“This helped me greatly when I decided to go to Portugal on holiday with friends. I was able to tell them about different foods and my new language skills meant I could order in Portuguese. This knowledge also helped me when I visited supermarkets.”

Informal learning experiences appear to be rich in situations that involve travel. Learners can gain knowledge about culture, cuisine and geography, and may even pick up some language skills.


Colourful palace in Lisbon, Portugal


Brian learned to save time and make his life easier
Brian used to hate putting clean bed sheets on his bed. He enjoyed the feeling of fresh sheets, but always found putting the bed sheets on single-handedly to be a struggle – something we can probably all relate to! One day when his sister was watching him struggle, she decided to give him a handy tip.


Tidy bed in a clean bedroom with neutral colours

“My sister told me to turn the bed sheets inside and push my hands into the end corners. You then need to find the end corners of the duvet and pinch them with your fingers while they’re still inside the bed sheets. Then you shake the bed sheets on to the duvet so that the correct side is facing outwards and you’re done! Easy! No more struggling to put the bed sheets on!”

Sometimes learning a simple trick can make a big difference to your life, saving you time, effort and energy. This is something that Brian will use for the rest of his life and might pass on to others that can also benefit.


And a final point from Zoe, who contributed her informal learning story to our last blog post: “I informally learned about informal learning from my colleague Emma! Before that, I didn’t know what it was.”


Have you had any great informal learning experiences that have positively impacted on your life? Please share them with us in the comments section below!

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