Professional learning takes many forms; four different types are shown in the four quadrants in the right figure. Two variables define the quadrant, who primarily benefits (individual person or school) and structure ( formal or informal). The four types created from these variables are training, course, workshop, and collaboration. All are valid and useful to educators.
An example of training is when a school adopts new data software or adopts a security plan. Everyone needs some form of formal training. Workshops are a learning event such as a staff session on literacy teaching practices in CTE. All teachers have taken courses for certification, and these are formal and primarily benefit the individual person. The fourth type is collaboration – it is informal and mainly benefits the individual. Collaboration can be as casual as walking into another shop and asking a fellow teacher how to handle completing a required form. That is professional learning. It is timely, benefits the person, and addresses a need.