Incidental learning is some form of accidental / indirect / additional / unplanned learning within an informal or formal learning situation. (DSchneider). It's opposite is deliberate learning.
- Incidental learning is also referred to as random learning, the latter term is used by UNESCO: “Random learning refers to unintentional learning occurring at any time and in any place, in everyday life” (UNESCO, 2005, p. 4). Incidental (random) learning is characterized as unorganized, unstructured and unintentional. This sets it apart from informal learning (using UNESCO's terms), which is intentional.
- While we learn 'formally' only in some very specific situations and periods of our life (school, training), incidental and informal learning are much more important for most of the skills and knowledge we learn during the vast majority of life. (R. Borer)
- Sandra Kerka's (2000) definition:
Here is an example that shows the difference between incidental and informal learning provided by a commentator of this page: “ Lifelong learners may attend organized and structured courses (non-formal education) or learn a foreign language from a private tutor (informal learning), both being intentional. This is different from incidentally discovering how to open a .zip file, while downloading learning material from the Internet.”
2 Incidental learning in education
- There are strategies to favor incidental learning
2.1 Simulation / gaming architectures
Frete (2002:92:93) quoting Roger Schank:
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