What is the “Moments of Need” learning model?

When it comes to any sort of instruction, schooling or teaching, thought leaders Conrad Gottfredson and Bob Mosher believe there are five specific situations where people need to learn. You may not be familiar with the “Moments of Need” model, but it can be hugely beneficial from a corporate training perspective.

In contrast to formal methods of learning and knowledge acquisition, which concentrates on achievements and certification, the five Moments of Needs are more concerned with proficiency. This involves a combination of formal, informal, social and real-time learning strategies.

Here at Wranx, we are great believers in this multi-faceted approach. Although there is a time and place for classroom-based teaching, this needs to be complemented by additional techniques and methodology such as on-the-job training, advanced learning and gamification.

This is what our training system endeavours to deliver. Multi-device supports means learning can take place in the working environment, spaced repetition is a way of improving long term memory retention while games and challenges increase engagement and interest.

While our solution here at Wranx shares a lot in common with the Moments of Need learning model, it is still important to look at each of its five steps to see whether your business or employees could benefit from this method of teaching and tuition.

Learning for the first time

The vast majority of organisations will have some sort of training for both new hires and existing members of staff. From acquiring information and developing expertise to knowing how to carry out or perform a new task, there is a range of things an employee can learn about and benefit from. Receiving instruction about a particular subject, skill or responsibility for the first time is the primary Moment of Need.

But one of the biggest problems a company faces is determining the most appropriate type of training for that particular objective or individual. But in spite of the methodology, actually demonstrating the benefits associated with learning this new information or behaviour can be highly advantageous.

Learning more

After employees have started to receive instruction or tuition and realise the benefits, there is a good chance they will want to acquire further knowledge and develop their learning. Regardless of whether this is from a personal growth perspective or to carry out tasks and duties more efficiently, this is part two of the Moments of Need.

However, a certain level of understanding about the individual’s current knowledge base or skill set is required in order to deliver the most appropriate training possible. While exams and surveys can help achieve this, there are more modern and less antiquated ways of discovering employee proficiency. For example, Wranx’s deep-dive reporting function provides detailed information about cohort knowledge retention rates, progression insights and how employees rate against each other.

Remembering and/or applying learning

The third Moment of Need is actually remembering and utilising learned concepts in the real world. In certain situations, staff might not be able to remember or apply the information and skills they have recently acquired, which calls for additional support. For example, an employee getting to grips with a new piece of computer software would benefit from having an instruction manual or troubleshooting guide close to hand.

In these instances, it is crucial that leaners can access information quickly and conveniently to avoid wasting time. One way to address potential problems or forgetfulness is to develop instantaneous and easy to consume resources or references that can be accessed anywhere, anytime. The rise of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets make this a distinct possibility.

Learning when things go wrong

While the fourth Moment of Need also calls for some sort of immediate access to immediate support, it concerns things going wrong rather than an employee forgetting or failing to apply learned information. In this situation, further instruction is usually supplied by a help desk, FAQ webpage, live chat or online form.

This spontaneous search for answers to unpredictable and unforeseeable problems might not provide definitive or precise solutions, but the employee will be unknowingly expanding their knowledge base and learning new information. They are bound to explore a number of resources and tools to overcome the issue, which could provide the individual with expertise and skills they wouldn’t have acquired otherwise.

Learning when things change

The final Moment of Need occurs when employees must change or adapt the way they carry out their job role. Members of staff may also be required to update their understanding of an already learned concept. One reason this might happen is if a company updates its policies to comply with new industry rules and regulations. While this might sound fairly straightforward, as an employee has covered the subject before, it does throw up some challenges.

Individuals have to effectively unlearn an existing notion and then learn a new one, which could be dissimilar and contrasting. One way to address this situation is through periodical quizzes that ensure employees are up-to-date with ongoing changes. This is what Wranx Drills are all about. We ask learners short sharp quizzes of 10 questions a day to increase their understanding of a certain subject. By rating how well they knew an answer as opposed to simply guessing, knowledge is retained much more effectively. Questions that aren’t thoroughly understood will be repeated the next day, while concepts with a solid comprehension will be asked again at some point in the future.

Applying the Moments of Need

Identifying the moments and situations when further training or instruction is required can help any organisation prepare for every eventuality. Establishing introductory training or additional tuition is fairly straight forward, but the importance of having some sort of support in place when employees forget information, when things go wrong or when things change is often ignored.

But by providing employees with immediate and bite sized resources to call upon as and when required, the need to constantly go back to the classroom is eradicated. On top of that, Wranx’s training solution can also be utilised and made use of when a fitting moment arises.

Written by: Persia Shahkarami

Persia is passionate about helping organizations improve employee engagement across their professional development initiatives.
Published: 23 Mar, 2015