I was reading an article in Fast Company that discussed the power of YouTube® and how it’s poised for enormous growth. I can believe it. Often when I’m looking for a quick sound-bite of information I either “Google it” or head to YouTube for help. I think many people are like that. Access to JIT (“just in time”) learning is becoming easier and easier, and this changes learner expectations about the traditional linear and time intensive structure of traditional instructor led classroom formats.
Give Me What I Need
In today’s “I need it yesterday” world, smaller, bite-sized chunks of information are required. Give me what I need, when I need it, and in a format I can digest — just in time, just enough, and just what is right for me! As an example, take a look at this provocative video posted by the Masie Center Learning Lab and ThinkTank on the changing needs of students… our industry must keep up with the changing needs and wants of our customer — old world models will simply not succeed into the future, and we must evolve or become extinct.
We live in a society where time is a precious and increasingly scarce resource, and there just is not enough of it to go around. We have conditioned ourselves to expect everything right now. No waiting. So when you’re faced with learning development (online or in the classroom), you have to address that need. A recent issue of Entrepreneur Magazine cited that Information Seekers equal 33% of all consumers. To appeal to this segment and keep their attention, you have to give them relevant information and plenty of it. If you can make them feel that you’re giving them value in the content you provide, you’ll win their trust and loyalty.
That said, as education developers we must find the proper balance of just-in-time with more structured approaches because we are competing with so many outside distractions, and our audience demands that level of flexibility. The key is to create the best of both worlds without watering down either, and that is not an easy proposition.