JIT Learning And How It Leads To Learning Effectiveness

JIT Learning And How It Leads To Learning Effectiveness
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Summary: In this article, I have highlighted how 'JIT learning' is the need of the hour rather than a luxury.

Learning Effectiveness Boils Down To This: JIT Learning

Just think of your last flight travel. Many of you would have done it yesterday or even today.

Can you recall the content of the training intervention you were subjected to in the flight?

You are probably wondering what training? Press the rewind button again until just before your flight took off. Yeah, you got it, Pre Flight Safety Demonstration. That is a short training you undergo every time you board a flight, a classic example of microlearning.

Now back to the question, "Do you remember the content?". Of course not. But wait, you would have heard that microlearning is supposed to be effective right? But why didn’t you remember it?

Now imagine an announcement from the pilot, “Passengers please brace yourself, we have a technical glitch and may land anytime and anywhere. I request the crew to give a quick safety demonstration”.

Wouldn’t you listen to every word of it? In fact, you will get all your doubts clarified by asking as many questions as you can. This level of engagement and change of mindset is due to the ‘Just-In-Time’ effect. Anything relevant is digested easily by our brain and irrelevant information is discarded easily. Is this ringing some bells? Is your learning content relevant to your learners?


We, as learning professionals, are frequently challenged with learning engagement level of our organisations. We may deploy top Learning Management Systems, trending learning content, state-of-the-art technology support, and highly rated facilitators, but if the content to be delivered is not relevant to the learner, then all these learning assets will go down the drain, except for meeting compliance requirement.

And when the learners look at us with the yearning for something new and relevant, we feel like singing Anne-Marie’s words, “So don't go look at me with that look in your eye”, but the days are not too far when the learners start singing back, “You can't be reasoned with, I'm done being polite, I've told you one, two, three, four, five, six thousand times”. Because it has been a number of times that they have been relentlessly seeking relevant learning interventions that could help them do their jobs better, and we keep delivering what we are convenient with. Time to change, isn’t it?

What Is Just-In-Time Learning?

JIT learning assets are mostly short, concise and highly specific; Instructional Design is directed toward a single learning objective. This allows employees to be trained just before they are required to actually make use of the information in their jobs. For example, interviewing candidates could be a regular task of a manager in any organisation, and for new managers, this could be a daunting task. A JIT learning asset that can be accessed through a mobile phone can be handy which learner can refer to, minutes before handling interviews. Consider another example where there are certain prerequisites before entering a ballast tank for servicing the same. You cannot expect the service engineer to access mobile phone inside the factory due to restrictions but a learning kiosk can be placed near the ballast tank which delivers the safety requirements and the ballast tank can be accessed only when the learning is completed. There are many such scenarios where JIT can be your 'superhero' who 'saves the learning universe'.

Learners become “fast and furious” when they need to learn; when they encounter specific skill or knowledge gaps that prevent them from completing a task or achieving a desired tangible result. Thanks to advances in learning technology and instructional pedagogy, companies can create a repository of information that can be accessed easily by employees, allowing them to learn new skills on the move.

How Can You Shift Gears Toward JIT Learning?

JIT learning requires a new approach when it comes to Instructional Design. In considering the knowledge being transferred, the Instructional Designer must also take the context and timing into account, in order to ensure that the training is integrated and distributed optimally. Some approaches that can help achieve JIT in your organisation are listed below.

  • Content libraries
  • Instant messaging
  • Simulation tools
  • Instant job aids
  • Mobile learning
  • Short videos
  • Interactive videos
  • Whiteboard animations
  • Kinetic text animations
  • Interactive PDF
  • Infographics
  • Flipbooks
  • Search engine based learning portals

Final Thoughts

Every organisation is unique with their own learning goals to achieve. However, the following questions will be helpful to gear towards JIT learning:

  • When will such knowledge or skill be used?
  • What will impact the learner to perform a task?
  • Can the training be seamlessly integrated into the work?
  • How do we ensure that the learning asset is accessible?
  • Can our material be transformed into JIT learning assets?
  • Do we have the necessary skills to create JIT learning assets?

If you are up for the challenge of enhancing your learning content to meet the JIT guidelines, then seek answers to these questions based on your organisation’s business goals. Remember the cliché, “Where there is a will, there is a way”.

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