WHAT IS JUST-IN-TIME LEARNING: CAN WE BENEFIT FROM IT?
A key issue here is that Just-in-Time learning must be well laid out and the answers that are being sought must be easily identified and accessible.
Communication can be regarded as the lifeblood that connects human society. With the growing pace of communication, it is vital that if we want to be and remain competitive, we must make use, not only of technology but of ideas and theories of learning that encapsulate the desires for faster communication. The faster that communication can be achieved, the faster we can act and react.
Bearing this in mind, a particularly interesting avenue of investigation is "Just-in-Time Learning".
Just-in-Time Learning is not something that is directly defined. Moreover, it is a broad term to describe an organisational method of providing learning exactly when and how it is needed. Traditional methods rely on scheduled meetings and events that all members must adhere to in order to benefit. This can be disruptive in a negative sense, as it interrupts workflow and inconveniences both the business and the employee. The main difference is that Just-in-Time Learning operates on a level that offers flexibility in this regard, with the aim of making events accessible exactly when needed and via a variety of electronic methods such as laptops or mobile devices. In other words, the goal is to provide what is needed, when it is needed, and how it is needed in ways that bypass traditional logistical problems.
The emphasis here is on brief, bite-sized chunks of information, usually in the form of short videos that target a specific snippet of information. The user is not looking for a full learning experience, but a simple and quick answer to a question, a quick tutorial, an informative infographic, or an interactive exercise. A key issue here is that Just-in-Time learning must be well laid out and the answers that are being sought must be easily identified and accessible. Success in this regard is that the learner, not being overwhelmed with reams of information, is more likely to retain the information relevant to their specific need.
In short, what is needed for the provider and the learner is the essence of brevity. Articles must be short and must address a single point. Videos must be concise and instructional, uncluttered with extra information, and must get straight to the point without lengthy introductions, repetitive explanations, and irrelevant facts.
The benefits of Just-in-Time Learning are clear when used in a corporate setting. Special attention must be given to the benefits in terms of worker productivity. Upskilling need not be long sessions requiring extensive and expensive logistical concerns. What is needed can be disseminated and engaged within every office space in the workers' own time. This includes mobile workers as Just-in-Time learning can be used through mobile platforms. As such, productivity does not suffer.
Just-in-Time Learning optimises currency and learner control. It offers mature and convenient ways to access information from almost anywhere. It is a technological development for an increasingly younger and more technologically savvy workforce. In this regard, Just-in-Time learning is not simply a convenient development, but a necessity that addresses the demands of the millennial workforce.
Our environments, educational systems and workplaces are changing at a rapid pace. As training providers and employers, we need to ensure we understand the psychographics of our future workforce and adapt accordingly to ensure we remain relevant in order to have a competitive advantage.
We have adopted a bit-learning approach to our e-Learning solutions, thus providing learners (and employers) with the opportunity to develop the required knowledge and skills on-demand. Take a moment to browse our catalogue of online solutions delivered via OmniStack.
Contributor: Greg Beyer
Researcher at Omni Academy for Education, Training and Development
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