Sunday, May 28, 2017

Just in Time Learning

When I worked in education it was recognised that Just in Time Learning was most effective.

"Just-in-time learning” refers to making learning available when needed by the learner, and at the time that the learner needs the information, knowledge or skill." (

Way back when I was working I set up a "Help Desk" where teachers could get almost immediate assistance with their technology questions. Providing assistance at the point of need was very effective. I look at the educational offerings from many of our genealogy societies and groups which are mostly lecture style presentations and wonder if any of them are providing for the individual needs of their members.

At our local group we have an informal meeting once a month where we encourage members to come along and provide assistance to each other. Last week we covered items requested by members that included signing up to the Claim a Convict site, saving a word document as a .pdf file (which led to a discussion of file formats), a demonstration on how to scan with the Flip-Pal portable scanner and a comparison of the way DNA results are presented on FTDNA, Gedmatch and MyHeritage (unfortunately Ancestry access was just too slow).  Those who weren't interested in these topics were able to break into small groups to discuss other things.

Bulletin Boards and now Facebook Groups and Ask a Librarian services have been providing this sort of support, perhaps this is why some genies are turning away from traditional societies and groups and finding other avenues that enable them to find out what they need to know when they need to know it.

I'm wondering how many genies who have not yet embraced the technology that creates Just in Time Learning opportunities are missing out on learning.

What does your society or group do to cater for the Just in Time needs of its members? Is your educational program serving the individual needs of your members?


Alona Tester said...

Wow, this sounds like a great concept, and no doubt people learned a whole lot more from it, rather than just cover a single topic. It'll be interesting to see if others take it up.

Michelle Nichols said...

Last year I ran a class which was basically called Breaking down your brickwalls where the participants were encouraged to bring a along an issue. At the sesssion assistance was offered and then the group of 12 discussed. I was expecting some difficult questions but was surprised by the simple nature of most of the questions.

Those of us who have been doing family history for many years or who have a good grip on research and technology, have much to offer and your concept is a good practical one Jill!!!


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