Full-Fledged Training Or Just-In-Time Learning – When To Use What?

Discussing Full-Fledged Training Vs. Just-In-Time Learning

In this age of instant gratification, most of us expect information to be available right when we need it. All of us, at some point or another, might have faced challenges in completing certain tasks at the workplace and looked to co-workers or managers to help. This is exactly what the popular 70:20:10 model for Learning and Development at the workplace talks about. 70% of our learning comes from informal learning experiences, 20% through interactions between colleagues, and 10% of learning happens through formal training programs.

Does this mean your organization should only consider informal learning experiences such as just-in-time learning, and reduce the time and effort spent on formal training programs such as classroom and online training? Absolutely not! If that were the case, how would you explain the popularity of classroom training programs even today?

You need to decide when to opt for a full-fledged training program (be it classroom or eLearning) and when to leverage just-in-time learning. Read on to find out how to make that decision, when you face the following 5 situations.

1. Formal Or Informal Route To Learning?

Full-Fledged Training For A Structured Learning Experience

A full-fledged training program is necessary when you intend to provide a formal, structured learning experience. The route you take to learn is well defined. This can be delivered through the classroom or through eLearning.

For example, a compliance training program is mandatory for every organization and not something that needs to be rushed through or overlooked. In addition, a certified online training program that tracks course completion is an excellent methodology to deliver compliance training programs.

Formal training on compliance is essential to reduce the risk of non-compliance. Just-in-time training does not fit the picture, as you cannot leave compliance to chance. This is something every employee ought to know, hence the ‘push’ training offered by a full-fledged training program is essential.

Just-In-Time Learning For On-Demand Training

Just-in-time learning, on the other hand, is informal and does not require learners to follow a specific structure. Organizations can certainly benefit from investing in just-in-time learning.

One of our clients from the pharmaceutical industry wanted product training for sales reps delivered in the form of short learning modules that could be accessed on mobile phones. Sales reps were able to look up the uses and contra-indications of a drug according to their need (before meeting potential clients).

2. Detailed Or To-The-Point Training?

Full-Fledged Training For Detailed Information

A full-fledged training program is perfect when you need to cover detailed information. A new hire training program that we worked on for a leading global contract research organization required comprehensive information to be delivered to new hires. The organization had opted for a blended learning strategy where they made use of classroom and online training.

The instructor-led part of the training covered comprehensive information on the organization structure, departments, and employee policies. eLearning was used to deliver role-based training on certain business applications.

Just-In-Time Learning For Crisp, Concise Learning

Just-in-time learning is the choice when you want your training to be crisp and to the point. For example, if you want new hires to learn how to fill in a travel expenses form, you can provide a simulation that shows them the steps. Learners can quickly access this just-in-time learning module when they need to fill the travel expenses form, rather than waiting for someone to help them with this task.

3. Impart Skills Or Accomplish Tasks?

Full-Fledged Training To Impart Skills

A full-fledged training program is required when you need to impart skills to learners; it could be concepts, processes, or skills your learners are not familiar with.

Rolling out a new ERP software in your organization? If this is the first time your learners are being introduced to the software, you do need a detailed training program that offers them enough opportunities for hands-on practice. This can be done through a test environment if the training is classroom-based or through simulation-based eLearning that lets learners watch, try, and perform tasks as they would in the actual software.

Just-In-Time Learning To Accomplish Tasks

Just-in-time learning is used when you want to help learners accomplish specific tasks. For example, a service technician who is on the field to repair a piece of machinery has forgotten what a specific error code means. No worries, he only has to use his smartphone and open up an infographic that lists the error codes, what it means, and solutions to try. By providing just-in-time learning, learning is contextualized, and the service technician is able to accomplish the task on hand.

4. Teach Something New Or Build On Existing Knowledge?

Full-Fledged Training To Teach New Content

Full-fledged training programs are absolutely essential when you need to teach something new to learners. Consider the example of a sales training program. When you have new hires in the sales team, you might want to consider leveraging an eLearning curriculum for sales training that takes learners right from the basics to the advanced levels of sales skills.

Just-In-Time Training To Build On Existing Knowledge

What if your learners are proficient in sales and just need to know how to calculate the ROI (return on investment) of sales? Just-in-time learning is what you need to look at in this case. Provide a sales ROI calculator that lets learners calculate the potential ROI on their sales. We did just that for a client, a leading manufacturer of the precision equipment. The sales team found the sales simulations and ROI calculators very useful to perform their job.

5. Prepare For The Job Or Offer Support On The Job?

Full-Fledged Training To Prepare Learners For The Job

Full-fledged training is the right choice when you need to get learners prepared for a specific job role. One of our clients from the pharma industry hired sales reps who did not have an educational background in science. A training program on the human body and its functions was essential to prepare them for their job, which was to market the drugs manufactured by the company.

Only then would they able to explain the contraindications of a drug or highlight its benefits. Blended learning was followed as the training methodology and helped the organization cut down the time and cost spent on classroom training.

Just-In-Time Support To Provide Support On The Job

Just-in-time learning can be used to provide performance support to learners. For example, a business-specific process that needs to be followed can be presented in the form of an animation or flowchart so that learners can quickly refer to it, on-demand. And what’s more, providing just-in-time learning is not going to cause a dent in your training budget.

A holistic training program needs to include both full-fledged training programs as well as just-in-time training. You need to consider when each should be used, and for what kind of training. Take some time to think over what learners would appreciate, and you should be able to make the most of the training programs delivered in your organization.

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