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JIT Learning: Where it Fits and Where it Doesn’t

Just-in-time (JIT) Learning is all about gaining access to knowledge when and where you need it. It’s about looking up in the Internet when you need to know something. It’s clearing your doubts with your co-workers when you have one. And when it comes to eLearning, JIT is all about providing your employees the right training material at the right time, as and when they need it, with short and punchy modules which are very focused. They can be delivered in the form of videos, simulations, games, or infographics – But the magic they create is the same!

However, can JIT training be used to train your employees all the time? Not necessarily. Read on to find out where JIT fits and where it doesn’t.


To Provide Performance Support

Let us say your employees have been trained on how to use a particular authoring tool and have been asked to work on it a few days later. But when they begin working, they realize they cannot remember a few of the steps involved. What do they do now?

This is where the role of performance support comes in! Just-in-time learning provides just that! You can provide them a simulation-based micro module which shows them the steps to use the authoring tool. If your employees are provided with one, they can easily go through the course and grasp the information necessary in a jiffy and incorporate whatever learned into their work. 

To Reinforce Learning

Just think of sales representatives who are always on the go. Their job is all about giving presentations to customers on various products and services. Now what if they want reinforcement on a particular product they are going to give presentation on, to a customer? What can the organization do to assure that the sales representatives perform their job effectively?

To make sure that your learners remember what they have learned and cement it into their minds, you need to keep reinforcing it. But it is not logical to assume that the trainer will be around the learners each time they need them. The answer to this dilemma is to provide just-in-time learning!

A short video or an infographic that gives out the details on the product can be developed for them. A quick tap on their smartphones and the information is revealed! 

To Act as a Catalyst for Change

Let us imagine the employees of an organization work on a software that keeps updating or changing its features constantly. Wouldn’t it be annoying that each time an update happens training has to be organized to train employees on the new updates?

Well, that wouldn’t be necessary. All you need to do is develop a quick simulation or a video that explains the new update in relation to the old one. Since the employees already have existing knowledge on the software, it will be quite easy for them to grasp the information immediately. 

To Bridge Knowledge and Skill Gaps

Say your employees attended a classroom training explaining the procedure of how to operate a machine. Now, when they actually got to the field to operate that machine, employees were confused as they never operated it before.

It is in such a situation that employees experience a huge gap between their knowledge, skills, and application on the task at hand. Since all the training they received was basically theoretical how could they operate the machine with ease? They definitely need some kind of assistance or practice before hand.

Just-in-time learning can be incorporated here too. A short video can be created which shows a man actually operating the machine, watching which the employees can understand how it should be done. 

To Develop ‘Pull’ Learning

Struggling to shift from a content-centric ‘push’ approach to a learner-centric ‘pull’ approach? Just-in -time fits just about right if this is your need. JIT mode of training gives your learners complete control to access the learning content as and when they need to.

Don’t you think this will lift the pressure of forced training off their back and lead to a much more comfortable and effective learning experience? Indeed, it will!


To Teach Complex Topics

Teaching is not just about delivering content. It is about making the delivered content understandable and retainable. Suppose you want to train your employees on programming with JAVA. Would delivering a JIT learning material be enough to impart holistic knowledge?

No, right? It’s impossible for your employees to understand an entire programming language just by going through a JIT material as it is too complex a topic. Hence to deliver a successful training on complex topics, just-in-time content will not be adequate. 

To Provide Skill-based Training

Suppose you want to train your employees on effective communication skills. Do you think it is possible to train them by providing JIT material? Definitely not! These are topics that require full-fledged learning as building skills is not easy. JIT can definitely be provided as reinforcement training, not as the main training content.

To Train on a Completely New Topic

Training your employees on a completely new topic using JIT? Not a good idea. JIT can only be used as a complement to an existing course, as it would be extremely difficult for your employee to grasp a completely new topic right at the moment of need. 

To Provide Formal Training

Just-in-time learning content provides content that offers support during work but not as a full-fledged formal training. Full-fledged formal learning involves structured content which again cannot be taught through just in-time learning.

Just-in-time indeed does cater to the needs of the modern workforce – be it convenience, engagement, accessibility, or availability of lesser time! But always make sure to keep the above points in mind while planning to roll out JIT training in your organization and watch your employees learn efficiently in no time!