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New areas for new forms of learnance

Jean Vanderspelden
Valoda: EN
Document available also in: FR

The concept of Learnance[1] is relatively new. Nevertheless, in our enforced economy of knowledge, we are already talking about the practices and areas of Learnance. If in 'the world of training', the trainee must adapt himself to the  training offer, in that of Learnance, it is the 'knowledge players' who construct and lead, in their areas, new training ecosystems for the benefit of the learning communities. This Copernican revolution subscribes to and participates in the development of the European ‘lifelong learning' policy. This innovative approach can offer each of us new opportunities to interact and to learn; fortuitous and occasional, individual and collective, face to face and at a distance, etc…  It marks the break between plans which aim to train people and those which create favourable conditions for people to train themselves, while benefiting from a facilitating context and support.

In this second assertion, the individualisation of courses, associated with the personalisation of the support, creates the conditions for autonomising self-regulation. This self-regulation, relative and progressive, of formal and informal training by the trainees themselves, takes shape through their own motivation to produce, to share and to interact; actions often funded by the collaborative practices of digital technology in new, convivial spaces.

This revolution of 'alternative learning'[2] is carried by the accelerated digitalisation of our cognitive society. It finds its translation today in the new legal context. In France, the 2014 reform, introduced by the State and conceived by the social partners, aimed to ease the implementation of training initiatives. Its principal innovation, moreover, was to have as its sole model the 'Training Course'. This model was marked by units of place, of time and of action. The training course could be described as a unimodal action; this model was scarcely compatible with a real exercise in the freedom of the trainee, which requires an open and flexible teaching organisation! More and more, training players are innovative on two complementary axes. These are primarily Learnance Practices, which draw on the original, more or less computerised, approaches for co-learning (Barcamp, Cercle d’Apprentissage, Communauté d’Apprenants, Educamp, Explorcamp, Hackathon, MOOC, Webinar, Worldcafé, etc….). There are also new Learnance areas for flexible self-training with others (APP, Bibliothèque, EPN, Espace de Co-Working, Fab Lab, Learning Centers, Learning Lab, Médiathèque, Poste de télétravail ou de téléformation, Ville Apprenante[3], etc…). These new areas are also involved in FEST (Formations En Situation de Travail - the equivalent of day-release schemes).[4].

The sum of the variety of these unpublished methods, by and large, enriches and diversifies the FOAD (Open and Remote Training) practices, known as multimodal or digital training[5].

Jean Vanderspelden is a consultant with ITG Formation and an EPALE France expert. ( . This article also appears on the Learning Sphere website and the fffod website.


[1] Learnance (apprenance in French) is a neologism which defines an attitude and individual and collective practices. It is the desire to stay in harmony with its ecosystem. It expresses the will to learn, and to learn together on four levels: individual, organisational, inter-organisational and societal. This is the initiative used by the organisations apprenantes. Source: Wikipedia -

[2] See the Blog «Apprendre autrement» by Denis Cristol - especially the article published in the THOT website: «Les étonnants modèles d'apprentissage du secteur public».

[3] Clermont Ferrand was the first French town to receive the UNESCO designation 'Learning City'. – January 2017

[4] See article Centre Inffo on FEST- 11/2015.

[5] Go to is external) Forum Français des acteurs des Formations Digitales (French Forum of Digital Training Players)


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