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SBME: Exploring boundaries between formal, non-formal, and informal learning

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Publication date2013
Number of pages2
Original languageEnglish


ConferenceAssociation for simulated practice in healthcare (ASPiH) 2013
CountryUnited Kingdom


In medical education learning extends beyond university settings into practice. Non-formal and informal learning support learners’ efforts to meet externally set and learner-identified objectives. In SBME research, boundaries between formal, non-formal, and informal learning have not been widely explored. Whether SBME fits within or challenges these categories can make a contribution.
Formal learning is described in relation to educational settings, planning, assessment, and accreditation. Informal learning results from workplace-, home- and community-based activities (Werquin, 2012), often lacks assessment, and can include incidental learning as an unanticipated consequence (Marsick & Watkins, 1990). Non-formal learning is structured in terms of learning objectives, time, and support (Colley et al., 2002), but focused on formative assessment within practical experience.