“Just in Time” training: how to create active learning in the workplace

just in time training

Imagine that you are at work and need to inquire about a particular topic at that very moment. Imagine also that you can quickly choose the course that seems most suitable to you from a vast catalog. Now that’s what Just in Time training is all about.

In a world where every product is on-demand – like TV series on Netflix – the training universe needs to adapt to make itself functional to the modern business routine.

Let’s try to get a little more specific.

What is Just in Time training?

Just in Time training is the immediate response to an extemporary need. It has two main goals:

  • to maximize learning efficiency by eliminating all those irrelevant notions that would only overload and distract the Learner’s mind;
  • to reduce the search time for useful information.

How do you create content using this method?

Here we must recall a concept that is now an old friend to us: Microlearning. Speed and conciseness are its indispensable characteristics, since its purpose is to transfer information on specific topics effectively through short sessions.

One could liken Microlearning to archery: a simple gesture that shoots the arrow so that it centers the target. The employee must be directed to acquire knowledge or skills quickly and effectively. Victory! ?

with microlearning you'll center the bullseye. Few information, result guaranteed

In addition, ease of access anywhere, anytime is a key component of this type of training. For this reason, good Just in Time content will be designed specifically to work on mobile devices and to be easy to assimilate. As easy as watching an episode of your favorite tv series on the train or bus. ??

What are the benefits of Just in Time learning?

We would not propose such a method to you if we were not sure of its effectiveness. We will now explain why.

  • Flexibility. The ability to take advantage of anytime & anywhere courses makes learning optimal, especially for your employees who need short, accessible content in a way that is compatible with their workload;
  • knowledge sedimentation, even over the long term. The concept of “Just in Time” learning limits the amount of information employees have to acquire, which means they can focus their efforts only on the key concepts that closely relate to their role. As a result, this significantly helps fight the Forgetting Curve, as what is learned is applied immediately on the job – thus promoting retention of skills and knowledge.
  • speed of the creative process: little information also means little time to put it together;
  • ease in updating the course, since little material is involved.

Now we’ll show you the flip side of the coin, too…

We are not here to tell you that developing such training is easy. The point is that getting a functional product that is simple in the eyes of your employees takes a lot of effort. Kind of like when you watch the Olympics and the diver pirouettes in free fall so elegantly that you think you can do it too.

olympic diver london 2012. seems easy but it's not

Spoiler: you can’t. ?

Therefore, since we want to help you, we feel it’s right to also reveal the backstage of what we are talking about. Everything can serve as food for thought and improvement!

  • It requires a precise awareness of training needs. The Learning & Development Manager must have a clear understanding of what each employee needs to learn in order to keep up to date, acquire new skills, and thus be even more effective in their role.
  • Excessive fragmentation of the most complex topics. In some cases, this schematic mode may leave out information that should be included anyway – compromising the quality of the training.
  • It’s not the only solution for everyone. For example, more focused in-depth study that requires the full attention of the learner may be needed, rather than an on-the-job resource. In practice, one should employ Adaptive Learning, which proposes customized content for each individual – thanks to Generative AI and in part to the help of Augmented Intelligence for monitoring functions (regarding mandatory courses to be taken) or to recommend to the Learner one path rather than another based on his or her professional role. If you want to learn more, take a look here.

To sum up, Just in Time training is great for a quick summary of knowledge or for refresher training, but some content, such as more complex soft skills and ethics training, may require a more focused learning environment and dedicated learning time.

Let’s then try to implement Just in Time training

If the challenges you will face in embracing this type of corporate training don’t scare you, let’s look together at how to implement Just in Time learning in the workplace.

  1. Select essential topics with data in hand (employee questionnaires, for example), i.e., those that may be needed immediately.
  2. Design content that is schematic, directshort – but most importantly, accessible from any device.
  3. Provide real scenarios as examples so that your employees can observe early on a concrete application of what they are learning.
  4. Measure the results of the courses and encourage your employees to give feedback, so that you can adjust the course (remember the arrow metaphor!) and make them active participants.

Yes, we’re done (for now) ?

Here you are. ?‍? We’ve reached the end of this immersion in Just in Time training.

Remember: essential, brief, accessible. These are the 3 adjectives you must always keep in mind when measuring yourself against this type of corporate training.

Until next time!

#neverstoplearning ?

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