Just-in-Time
August 2010

Just-in-Time

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A Pedagogical Shift Integrating e-Tools, e-Resources and e-Knowledge

“Just-in-Time” (JIT) is a pedagogical shift towards problem and competence-based learning environments. It's a holistic approach that involves new pedagogical strategies, processes, people and systems to deliver knowledge and skills required by academia and organisations, in a timely and cost-effective manner

Web-based technologies embedded with vast, and easily accessible online content have brought about a metamorphosis in learning paradigms. Community activities such as Blogs, Wikis, and Moodle have effectively leveraged on technological advancements and inter-connectivity, promoting collaborative enhancement of knowledge on a scale never seen before. What's needed today, however, is to map content to context, on the fly.

“Just-in-Time” (JIT) is a pedagogical shift towards problem and competence-based learning environments. It's a holistic approach that involves new pedagogical strategies, processes, people and systems to deliver knowledge and skills required by academia and organisations, in a timely and cost-effective manner. JIT requires a well-knit assemblage of atomic learning assets and runtime creation of coherent learning content that's aligned to learner's needs and preferences.

In a business environment, time is the essence. An organisation therefore, would seek to provide access to right information, at the right time, leveraging on latest technology and systems. Role based performance support, just-in-time, and on “just enough” basis is preferred over conventional linear course based learning pattern.

The granularity and associated self-organising capability of learning object architecture in line with the learner's preferences is the key to JIT learning – a learning system that integrates the e-tools, e-resources and e-knowledge with the learner preferences minimises the gap between the learning and application offering context-oriented help and providing a tie-in to knowledge base of the organisation.



A successful JIT-Learning system needs emphasis on key topics that aids a learner to obtain better insight of underlying concepts and promote reaching plausible solutions appropriately supported with business processes and knowledge domain.

A seamless integration of work skills, system requisite and interaction can aid knowledge acquisition, improve learner's decision making skills in work related tasks, and help resolve expert scalability problem.

Project Name
Just-in-Time Learning – Effective
& Efficient Pedagogy of Future

The Organisation
CIHL, MSIT Division, IIIT-Hyderabad

Key people
Padmaja Naraharisetty, Principal Mentor

Tools facilitating just-in-time learning

  • Virtual conferencing
  • Threaded discussions
  • Electronic resource repository
  • Simulation based learning modules
  • Electronic administrative tool

“The context of operational learning is changing due to a no-time-to-spare pace of today's work environment. Event-based or “just-in-case” learning is no longer adequate; now, employees need knowledge, data and tools integrated into the workflow so that it is available at the moment of need.”

With an aim to gauge the efficacy of different learning interventions and pedagogical constructs (both used in MSIT programme and those popular in  the Industry), the authors conducted two surveys in October 2008 on following sample populations: Internal participants of the MSIT programme and Industry professionals (43% from IT/ITES, 10% from engineering sector, 21% from academics, 26% from other professions). The survey results highlighted that JIT, if suitably encapsulated in a Learning System Design, can enhance and accelerate the learning experience. In a knowledge economy, where learning demands are dynamic, flexible and are required to be delivered at fast pace across distributed geographies, JIT surely provides a focused approach that leverages on technological advancements and reduces cognitive load on the learner. Specifically, a JIT approach would create a learning ecosystem that is: just enough, just for me and just in time.

 The quote from Gloria Gery captures the very relevance and significance of JIT Learning:

“The context of operational learning is changing due to a no-time-to-spare pace of today's work environment. Event-based or “just-in-case” learning is no longer adequate; now, employees need knowledge, data and tools integrated into the workflow so that it is available at the moment of need.”

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