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Learning is...5 moments of survival

When learning a new process or software have you ever felt you were fighting to survive? What is required to do your job while at the same time integrate something new to survive in the workplace?

Many learning authorities feel applying new technologies in a blended learning approach is the answer. Using multiple modalities and new technologies to push information will help a learner to survive in the new process or software they are learning. But really it's less about the modality and more about timing.

I was reminded of an article in CLO magazine by Bob Mosher I have used to guide our programs. There he commented that, "Many blended learning programs I've looked at are actually blended training not learning." And he mentioned they often do not address the most important times of learning. He referenced Conrad Gottfredson's five moments of need - the times when learners most need help to survive. They are:

1. When a learning something for the first time. 2. When a learner builds up base knowledge by learning more. 3. When a learner tries to apply or remember what he or she learned in moments one and two. 4. When a learner tries to keep up with change 5. When a learner does something wrong

Most blended learning/training programs address points one and two - they deliver information and build knowledge. But then leave the learner on his or her own to survive the last three. Actually these are the three moments that REALLY count! Especially number five "doing something wrong" -- many feel it is the most important part of learning. It should be encouraged. Truly blended learning and support assets should both teach and support.

Bob argues (and I agree) that these are the moments where we can best apply the new technologies. Use them to support "post-training" moments where survival is truly at stake. The "blended" in blended learning would then apply not only to the modality, but to the timing needed for survival. The new social technologies can be a great immediate help when a learner does something wrong. They can help support the learner far better than old tech. Good learning/training is about supporting all five moments of survival.

By the way, there is one new technology for survival that stands head and shoulders above them all…but that is for another post. (Hint: It's free and you likely use it everyday)

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