Our Learning Experience Designers (LxDs), Anna Dillon and David Cameron, discuss how learning 'just in time' in the flow of work, and life, puts the human element back into elearning.
JUST IN TIME LEARNING IN THE FLOW OF LIFE
I can't read ‘just in time’ learning without thinking of the Frank Sinatra song.11:34
D'you know what? I'm ashamed to admit I think I might not ever have heard the Sinatra song!!11:35
If only there were some way to instantly access things you don't know!11:36
- Currently checking…
You know those dreadful e learning courses that start with definitions? Well, define just in time learning.11:42
Hmm. Learning right at the time you need it, and that you apply straight after learning it – how about that?11:43
Fair enough. What are the implications of that for businesses? And us as LXDs? What interests me when I hear of a new development in this business is – why? And why now?11:44
I think it's the next step in the evolution of our speed- and information-obsessed era. It's a better way of streamlining learning. Toyota kicked it all off, by developing a more efficient production process. They got parts delivered much closer to the time they needed them for the build process – and made similar changes on several fronts. The end result was that their employees were far more productive.11:50
Oh no, that sounds like the mechanical view of humankind. Is that not confusing industrial process with career needs? Maybe the phrase 'just in time' got lifted from the one and applied to the other.11:52
But just in time learning is actually all about the human side of things. We're impatient creatures, we like to be in control, and we like feeling good about ourselves, particularly when we've achieved something. All of these very human factors lie at the heart of the effectiveness of just in time learning in the workplace11:54
I think it can only be happening if there is pressure from both 'sides' – i.e. employees want it and employers need it.11:54
Yes, I think you're right about that double-sided pressure, so to speak.
Employers need informed and engaged employees, who are, as a result, more productive... Industrial process and career needs are not entirely distant relatives11:55
It’s not just about boosting productivity, but actually filling the skills gaps. Because those gaps are naturally being created by the passing of time – they say about half the workforce needs to be reskilled every 3 years11:59
It's like Deloitte point out in their recent report on 'learning in the flow of life': just in time workplace learning is, basically, about being prepared to change.
It's about the gap-filling leading to boosting productivity!12:01
I read that report. I like the bit about learning occurring in small doses, almost invisibly, through the day. How different from traditional e learning!12:03
Yes, the 'invisible' bit struck me, too – it shows how seamless the integration has to be. If the chunks of digital learning are small and properly focussed – i.e. pinpointedly relevant – then they'll fit into even small time slots in a worker's day.12:04
Just in time might imply that you are always being reactive – quickly responding to the needs of the moment. But I'd say you need careful content planning for this to work well.12:06
You're dead right – careful planning and design are crucial.
We need to think broad and deep; be able to design in a range of digital learning formats, and be able to deep dive into content, as well as skim the surface – to cover all possible scenarios our learners could encounter.12:08
Traditional e learning courses can take months to produce, from start to finish. So clearly the industry needs to be nimbler to meet the need here. Think in terms of smaller assets - a video here, an infographic there, a fun short quiz to do on your phone. But thought through as a coherent plan rather than fragmentary.12:11
Yes, nimble is the name of the game. It's agility again, really. We've got to use our imaginations to put ourselves into learners' shoes – but also be able to step into the managers' mindset. And L&D's mindset.
We have to be able to plan and design for eventualities, and draw on analytics to help us in this process; a happy marriage of imagination, creativity and science!12:15
But just in time suggests there's a risk of being out of time – in the way that businesses are stockpiling parts in preparation for Brexit. L&D really needs to be on the ball, to know what the needs and desires of staff are. It's important that consultancy to help with that is part of our offering.12:18
I'm tempted to use a jewellery analogy here – the gems to arrange around each other, and along in a carefully structured string, to make a really effective, beautifully designed piece of work!12:20
Just in time jewellery!12:21
Speak to us today if you would like to discuss how our learning experience designers can help you create content that helps you learn in the flow of work.
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