If you’ve been in L&D for a while, it’s likely you will have tried using digital methods to deliver your learning. If you didn’t achieve the results you wanted or expected, however, don’t give up—a new approach might be all you need.
The rapid increase in digital learning opportunities has positioned the just-in-time approach as something that can leverage a varied and engaging strategy.
Just-in-time content is often developed as support for a time-critical event. Learners can use this to brush up on a knowledge or skill prior to use. Examples include preparations for the launch of a new product, service, or system.
Just-in-time delivery is also one way to encourage learners towards a 'pull' learning culture. You can put them in control of the speed, timing, and quantity of the learning they take on.
"One key way to help learners become engaged," says Bray Leino Learning's Director of Learning Solutions, Stephanie Morgan, "is to give [learners] as many ways as possible to pull the learning as and when they need it."
Here are three key ways you can employ just-in-time digital solutions, each with their own strengths.
Microlearning is what we call complete learning solutions which come in bite-sized pieces. These pieces are each doing one job—teaching a single thing at a time.
There are some challenges around defining microlearning. Some see it as another 'fad', or misleading label. Tom Spiglanin cautions against thinking of microlearning as a product. Instead, he says, see it as an approach, or a tool:
"Note that microlearning refers to an activity (learning) dealing with small learning units (products). Microlearning itself is not a product, which will be important to keep in mind as more vendors […] offer to sell microlearning (rather than a microlearning suite, library, videos, or other products)."
What microlearning does best is teach one thing quickly and easily.
Towards Maturity reports that 7 in 10 are currently using video and mobile for online course delivery. 17% are working with integrated mobile apps within their LMS, but with 50% the predicted level in two years’ time, and though use of bespoke mobile apps for learning delivery is currently at 24%, it’s expected to rise to 54% by the time of the 2019 survey.
As mobile becomes more prevalent in workplace learning, the opportunities for microlearning to be delivered also increase with more flexible delivery opportunities.
Performance support helps in applying the learning—recalling and using what learners have already learned.
Mosher and Gottredson define this as “intuitive, tailored aid to a person at his or her moment of need”.
The idea is that you are trying to support them with their performance within the business, and to apply learning. This might be because they've forgotten it, or just need help. Performance support can be delivered just after or during learning programme delivery.
For example, after completing a management development programme, learners might appreciate tools to help them manage their people—for example, a one-to-one planning framework.
This type of learning, as part of a digital solution, needs to be accessible enough so that learners can just 'go in and check that out'—i.e. pull the content down at will and refresh their learning. ‘Chunking’ the content will also help the learner to take the changes on board without overloading them.
Speaking of cutting learning down to size, the subscription model takes another, different approach: drip-feeding "an intermittent stream of learning-related interactions to those who are subscribed" as Will Thalheimer puts it, to refresh knowledge and keep learners engaged.
Thalheimer continues: subscription learning “…can involve a great variety of learning-related events, including content presentation, diagnostics, scenario-based questions, job aids, reflection questions, assignments, discussions”.
The link between these different types of content is that they are “usually presented in less than five minutes, delivered to recipients using push technology; either through email, text messaging, cell-phone alerts, desktop notifications, or some other form of prompting.”
The increase in mobile technologies and integration with learning has created a natural space for this type of learning to be delivered—either with bespoke learning apps or innovating using free-to-use platforms: closed groups on social, email newsletters, WhatsApp groups, and so on.
The only limit is your imagination!
The content you’re trying to deliver and your objectives in doing so will be the key to helping you decide what just-in-time approach to incorporate in your learning.
Just-in-time can invigorate a learning strategy, and help support learners not only at the point of accessing learning but beyond—from learning for the first time, to applying the learning, and when things change or go wrong.
Some learners have built up a negative perception of workplace L&D from too many long-winded modules and compliance quizzes. One way to keep your learning fresh is to use an approach that puts usability, accessibility and learning objectives first. Just-in-time does this, granting users the power to control the speed and volume of the learning they take on.
To get the best from your learners, consider using a just-in-time approach to break the learning down and deliver it at the right time for an engaging, motivating and knowledge-retaining solution.
Here at Bray Leino Learning, we've been delivering digital learning for over 15 years. If you’d like to have a chat about how we can help you innovate with your learning delivery, click the button below to get in touch with us for a completely FREE consultation.
Kerry Pascall, Head of Digital Learning, Bray Leino Learning
In my series of blogs you can expect some tips on implementing eLearning, what to consider when commissioning eLearning, design tips, software and authoring pro’s and con’s, and general advice on everything eLearning!
Copyright © 2017 Bray Leino Learning