The Construction of Personal Learning Networks to Support Non-Formal Workplace Learning of Training Professionals

Christin A Manning


Workers in the 21st century workplace are faced with rapid and constant developments that place a heavy demand on them to continually learn beyond what the Human Resources and Training groups can meet. As a consequence, professionals must rely on non-formal learning approaches through the development of a personal learning network to keep up-to-date. This phenomenological study used an explanatory mixed methods approach to examine the lived experiences of how training professionals construct their personal learning networks to support their continuous learning in the workplace.
Results from this study indicate that participants have integrated non-formal learning into their work stream with a majority spending between one to three hours per week on these types of activities. This study uncovered two primary reasons for continuous learning: keeping up with industry trends and project-focused learning. Some significant differences in personal learning network construction were found based on gender, age, experience, and education.
Examining how training professionals use various approaches for their own non-formal learning serves to provide guidance to both individual and organizational learning strategies that need to leverage limited resources and organizational expertise while meeting the rapid and constant changes of the 21st century worker.


non-formal learning, personal learning networks, PLNs, connectivism

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International Journal of Advanced Corporate Learning (iJAC) – ISSN: 1867-5565
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