Inline training: a technique for continuous, within-task learning

Brian Krisler, Richard Alterman

Abstract

As software continues to grow in power and complexity, frequent on-the-job training is essential to maintain a proficient and productive skill set. However once a base operational skill set is attained, software users rarely continue to become proficient with the tools they use on a daily basis. This lack of proficiency results in the frequent occurrence of workflow interruptions due to the continued locating and re-locating of the operators required to perform both new and routine tasks. Aids such as reference cards and application help systems exist to make the user aware of efficient methods for task completion; however, these resources are seldom used. This study presents a new and efficient approach to help software users continue to learn about the tools they use to complete their work. This new approach to learning, called inline training, leverages common workflow interruptions to facilitate the discovery of new application knowledge. At issue is fitting the amount of work necessary to use the trainer into the already occurring interruption window. By understanding the amount of within-interruption work tolerated by the user, including an inline trainer within the window, promotes a deeper understanding of the application, resulting in a more efficient workflow.

Published: 11 April 2018

Citation: Research in Learning Technology 2018, 26: 1994 - http://dx.doi.org/10.25304/rlt.v26.1994

Keywords

training; continuous learning; learning; software training; interruptions

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