Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Just-in-time training.

In order to deliver more timely training, Apple transformed many of its training resources into ARPLE (the Apple Reference, Performance and Learning Expert). Apple's employees around the world can all use ARPLE, on-line and on-demand by means of its Ethernet technology. As a result, Apple replaced most of its former classroom training with just-in-time multimedia learning platforms. These are constantly updated to reflect current state-of-the-art information and learning.

Carnegie-Mellon University teaches its engineering students advanced math concepts as they need to apply them, not in separate math classes. I've found that employees acquire and apply concepts and skills more readily when they feel they need them, and when the knowledge they acquire proves immediately useful on the job. The software industry uses just-in-time instruction by including built-in help commands that allow users to ask for assistance, and then access different levels of detailed instructions at their own pace.

Just-in-time learning, delivered when and where its needed, takes control out of the hands of instructors and puts it instead into the hands of learners. Adding video-servers and training materials into groupware networks delivers on-demand training that users can access 24-7 at their own convenience. In addition to classrooms where employees learn about implementation by working through case studies, progressive companies use computer networks to structure meetings where employees can work together to solve problems and take advantage of opportunities.

Increasingly, smart companies rely of formal training courses only to convey highly volatile information that's changing too quickly to make it worth saving.

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