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  • Edgeworks Creative
  • 46 South Main Street Suite 3
  • Waterbury, Vermont 05676
  • 802.767.9100

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Alphabet Soup: JITL

It's time for some more acronym-busting with this bowl of Alphabet Soup - JITL - which stands for Just-In-Time-Learning. 

JITL has been used in the corporate world to train employees and in education environments from K-12 through university settings, but it can be understood within the context of any or all self-directed learning opportunities. 

As with any professional or educational endeavor there are subject matters which may or may not prove useful to an individual learner. The common student refrain of "when will I ever use this information" isn't complete hogwash. Often the skills a person may need to learn in order to accomplish a task or goal are only part of a much larger body of knowledge. While it can be helpful to have a full understanding of a complete subject matter (necessary to become a subject matter expert), most goals can be accomplished with a limited set of instruction pertaining to the task at hand.

JITL is focused on having appropriate learning opportunities available at the time a learner needs them. The goal with JITL is to enhance skills when and where they are needed. Typically these will be small individual courses that learners can access and complete relatively quickly.

For on-the-job JITL these courses tend to be mobile-optimized such that an employee can access them from a job site. In some cases JITL may involve the use of image recognition and artificial intelligence to provide information in real time for real-world situations.

An example could be an HVAC technician who arrives at a facility to fix a piece of equipment they have no experience with. If the technician is wearing augmented reality glasses and there is a JITL course specific to that equipment then it is possible to help the technician through their task by providing just-in-time information that walks them through the process to achieve their goals, delivering value faster than if the worker needed to understand everything about the equipment they were servicing.

For corporate training JITL is best viewed as supplemental learning. Instructor-led training and classroom training are still valuable experiences and should not be completely replaced by JITL. JITL is not well-suited for mandatory training and should be used as supplementary learning opportunities. 

Any JITL system should be readily searchable so learners can find the content that they are looking for without much trouble.