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719 - OJT Revisited!; What About Learning Previews?

Learning TRENDS by Elliott Masie - April 9, 2012.
#719 - Updates on Learning, Business & Technology.
55,679 Readers - - The MASIE Center.
Host of Learning 2012 - Oct 21 to 24 - Orlando, FL, USA.

1. Coming Attractions for Training/Learning?
2. OJT: A Learning Direction to Revisit.

1. Coming Attractions for Training/Learning? When I go to the movies, about 15 minutes of my seat time is spent on “Coming Attractions”. Those 3 minute, high energy previews of upcoming movie choices are critical to my selection process. I rapidly decide if the film has a tone, quality, context or star power that pulls me back to the theater. And, the absence of a coming attraction - either on the big screen or online - would get in the way of my purchasing a ticket at a later date. In other words, I want/need to see a short coming attraction to make the deal. (And, many production companies will spend millions of dollars on that preview - often with a different director - to give the best spin to prospective audiences.)

But, in the world of learning, we rarely have previews. What if I had the opportunity to attend a 3 day leadership program or participate in an online supervisory skills certificate activity? Where are the “previews”? What if I could hear the words of the instructor that might encourage or discourage me from attending? What if I could see rapid sequences from the online class? That might give me a clear understanding of the rigor and intensity of the program.

At Learning 2012, we will focus on the challenge of “Learning Mixes”. As learners have more and more choices, both live and asynchronous, how can we help them make the best choice? As managers decide which learning programs to approve for their employees, can we go beyond the content agenda to a richer set of previews? I want to encourage our learning colleagues around the globe to start designing short previews for upcoming learning activities that can help learners make key choices and add to what Malcolm Knowles called “Excited Anticipation” prior to the start of the events.  

I would love to hear your thoughts, reactions and willingness in participate in a gallery of Learning Preview examples. Send me a note to

2. OJT - A Learning Direction to Revisit: One of the key Learning Directions that we are tracking at The MASIE Center is the evolution and growth of OJT. Those three letters that reflect On The Job Training, that are perhaps evolving into On The Job Learning or even On The Job Performing, are actually at the core of how most people learn the details and specifics of their actual work. If you interview 100 people in your organization and ask them how they learned to do their job, prepare to hear that over 50% will say OJT or “from my peers”. 

OJT is evolving in the digital age. When a worker asks a peer or manager for help, the reply might be a link to a user created video segment or a detailed PDF on the intranet. In some organizations, OJT may be happen via Instant Messenger or Video Chat with a peer in a totally different geography.  Or, remote coaches may be available during the ramp-up time for a new hire.

Yet, if we look at organizational learning budgets, very little is spent or focused on OJT. Great OJT requires a set of paper or digital assets to support real-time support. In some instances, a Performance Support or GPS system can be created for the OJT process. There is even a route to building the OJT skills of both the on-site supporter as well as the learner in order to get the most from OJT. Some organizations might even add OJT readiness to a performance review outline for managers.

We will be exploring OJT at our upcoming Learning Directions briefings in Chicago and New York. For details, go to

Yours in learning,

Elliott Masie

MASIE Center Seminars, Events and Services:
* Learning Directions - Chicago or New York City
* Learning 2012 - Oct 21 - 24, 2012 - Orlando, Florida.
* LeadershipDev Design Studio - June 5 & 6 - Las Vegas, NV.
* New: Video for Learning LAB - July in Saratoga Springs
* Membership in The Learning CONSORTIUM
Info and Registration: