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Major Trends in E-learning: Just-in-time Learning

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Major Trends in E-learning: Just-in-time Learning

According to Ambient Insight, the market for self-paced learning will reach a staggering $53 billion, by 2018, registering a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.4% between the years 2013 and 2018. This immense popularity of online training is because of its cost effectiveness and its flexibility. The rapid authoring tools have enabled high quality e-learning courses to be developed in shorter span of time in order to meet the training needs of various organizations.

E-learning today is quite different from the way it was in the past. Lengthy courses were developed that used to take almost months’ to complete but today shorter courses are in demand and are developed in weeks. Instructional designers had to work with software programmers to develop online courses but with the advent of rapid authoring tools the e-learning development is completely transformed. Gamification, responsive multi device learning, HTML5, Just-in-time learning etc have brought in a big difference in the way courses are developed.

In this blog let’s understand one of the important trends of e-learning, the just-in-time learning approach, its inception, and how does it impact and benefit online training.

JIT – Its inception:

Just-in-time is a Japanese management philosophy that was practiced in the early 1970s in many of the Japanese manufacturing organizations. It was first developed and perfected in the Toyota manufacturing plants by Taiichi Ohno who was a Japanese industrial engineer and businessman (was also referred to as the father of JIT) in order to meet consumer demands with minimum delays. He introduced JIT for sales process engineering and how JIT improves sales, marketing, and customer service processes.

He emphasized on the essential aspect that needs to be considered in order to adapt to JIT such as acquiring raw materials only the extent and when they are required in the production process and thereby minimizing inventory cost. Based on this concept the e-learning fraternity has adapted to this concept, the just-in-time learning that has made delivery of online courses through mobile devices very important. So, what is just-in-time learning in the e-learning context?

Just-in-time learning: 

Companies need effective learning solutions to train their employees anywhere, anytime. Just-in-time is learning that is given for the point of need. Micro learning courses can be developed for access to employees’ providing right information at the right time just suited to perform the task at hand. For the purpose content is chunked into smaller learning nuggets for easy access on any device when and where they need it.

An example for Just-In-Time learning:

a) A Sales organization uses just-in-time learning to provide product information to its sales force. This helps the employee to answer specific queries of the product. This enables the sales personnel to convince prospective customers into buying the product.

Let’s take a look at the case study below: 

A leading technology and solutions provider of bearings, seals, lubrication systems, and services that adapted to just-in-time learning approach. They provide information through their custom apps that makes it easy for employees at each level of the organization. Machine operators on factory line, the sales and engineering teams on field, the global customers who rely on bearings to power everything from salt mines to steel pipe factories – can access critical business data in real time, communicate with colleagues, and leave old tools behind.

Benefits of JIT:

  • A byte sized learning module of 6-7 screens provides just-in-time information on products with the aid of mobile-learning. This may be a product demo, troubleshooting steps, a course on assembling procedures and so on. This improves sales and ensures better customer satisfaction.
  • JIT information can be presented in the form of short videos with a checklist of safety measures to employees working in manufacturing firms. This helps them to do their job well and ensures a safe working environment.

Thus, just-in-time learning helps employees learn effectively, anytime, anywhere and helps meet the training requirements of the organization.

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View Kit on Latest Trends in E-learning Design and Development 2015


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