We are in the discussion stage right now and we are actually surveying people regarding what would count. We have discussed things like pedagogically-related book circles, "lunch and learn" sessions, to the more formal instructional skills workshops, etc. Our main focus is in celebrating efforts related to enhancing one's teaching.
Personally, I certainly do not hold the assumptions that formal and informal learning are directly tied to contrived vs authentic, respectively. Both of these types of learning can be either primarily depending on the motivations of the individual. Added to this in the formal contexts, the motivations and assumptions of the facilitator(s) for holding the formal learning session.
I'm having to retreat somewhat. We started off with Technology Enhanced Instruction which was shelved due to layoffs and retirements. I had the opportunity to restart several years later. I thought we needed an fresh coat of paint. The old title was so "yesterday" so we switched to calling it Technology Supported Learning and offered it as a credit course. And nothing happened. This just didn't get anyone excited.
So back we go - informal learning, Lunch and Learn format, celebrate getting together with professional colleagues and talking about Teaching, Learning and Technology.
Applying Paddy Fahrni's suggested definition of informal learning as learner autonomy to say, lunch and learn sessions, we can say that learners have the choice to attend a session that is being pushed out to them, as it is not a requirement of their profession or employment, but during the session, how much do they control? Do they drive the content of the session?
Sorry to be such a stickler on this, but I'm wondering if we're all talking about different things? Informal learning to me would be the pedagogically-related book circles and a lunch and learn that responded to learner issues a la Open Space Technology . Where I originate from (community based adult education), an organized lunch and learn with pre-deteremined objectives is still a formal educative intervention.
I'm wondering if we're really talking about formalizing efforts at professional development that are not conditional on employment, maintaining a license or a professional designation? I am all for this by the way - love formal lunch-and-learns, want to very much celebrate professionals who want to grow and develop, especially in the post-secondary environment and getting subject specialists to think of themselves as teachers as well. Is that what we're talking about?