Just In Time Training

Training Challenge Number Six: “The failure to recognize e-learning that truly works”

The seventh essential quality for truly effective e-learning is a course design that is “Capable of Doubling as a Help Desk.”

Research has shown that nearly 70% of information learned in initial formal training is forgotten by the time the worker actually needs it. When unique on-the-job conditions arise, those workers need a quick and easy way to get refresher training.

E-learning is singularly qualified to meet those requirements. Sometimes this is called “just in time” training and sometimes it is referred to as “help desk” training. The effect is the same. E-learning saves much time (and, therefore, dollars) when it can be easily used to call up the necessary nuggets of instruction at any time and from any place.

The implications of this invaluable aspect of well designed e-learning should have a major impact on how we work in the future. Many companies are finding that they can no longer rely on having a wealth of experienced employees with detailed knowledge of all the procedures they are asked to perform. The “help desk” aspect of well designed e-learning helps fill that gap.

Poorly designed e-learning does not cross reference the teaching points nor does it reference the training objectives and procedures. The upshot is that those inadequate programs serve the trainee only in a passive way. They do not live on after the formal session is complete.

Pay close attention to the “help desk” function on any e-learning program that you are evaluating. The payback in significant time and dollars will be immense if that “just in time” aspect has been thoughtfully designed.

— Bill Walton, Founder of ITC Learning