Giving Training a Boost: New Tools to Enhance Your Learning Program

Often, there are times when learners need immediate help, such as when learning something for the first time, when trying to remember something, or when something goes awry. So employers need to have a few tricks up their sleeves in order to provide learners ‘just-in-time’ learning, meeting them where they are at their exact point of need.

After all, an eLearning professional is only as good as their best tools. Along with learning management systems, there are many incredible tools to enhance your learning programs.

How Do We Learn?

In order to determine which tools are right for the job, it’s important to first understand how people learn. The 70:20:10 Model for learning and development is a commonly referenced formula used to describe the optimal sources of learning, and theorizes that individuals obtain 70 percent of their knowledge from job-related experiences, 20 percent from interactions with others, and 10 percent from formal educational events.

But according to the Harvard Business Review, despite spending roughly $164.2 billion on learning and development programs, many executives still struggle to improve and enhance their effectiveness.

ENTER: Performance Support Tools

What Are Performance Support Tools?

Performance Support Tools, or PSTs, are just-in-time learning aids designed to give employees on-the-job support and enhance workforce performance by providing support and guidance to employees at work exactly at the point of need.

PSTs are easily accessible and provide the required task support to employees, leading to enhanced employee performance and continuous improvement to workforce performance.

Why Performance Support Tools Help

If someone asked you what you had for lunch today, your recall would be immediate. But if you were asked what you ate for breakfast a month ago, it wouldn’t be so easy or quick to recall. It’s perishable knowledge – and rightfully so – but unfortunately, so is a lot of other information that would be much more useful and valuable to remember.

In fact, the Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve suggests that within one hour, people forget an average of 50 percent of the information presented, 70 percent within 24 hours, and 90 percent within a week.

And since formal learning often takes place over a few days or weeks over the course of a year a year, it’s not surprising to discover that formal training alone won’t make the kind of impact necessary. So more informal Performance Support Tools serve to help users learn and work – simultaneously – by:

• Helping learners perform tasks without seeking external help

• Reducing time wasted by more experienced employees helping less experienced employees

• Helping new employees complete tasks quickly and correctly without formal training

• Helping new employees understand complex tasks and processes in a simplified way

• Teaching learners about new systems, upgrades or changes in the workplace

How Performance Support Tools Are Offered

PSTs can improve employee performance in a variety of formats, such as:

1. Mobile Apps. Mobility helps learners obtain just-in-time information and support anytime, from anywhere.

2. Videos & Interactive Videos. Videos are one of the most in-demand PSTs, evidenced by ‘how-to’ videos growing 70 percent year-over-year on YouTube – or 100 million hours viewed – and counting.

3. Decision-Making Scenarios. With decision-making scenarios, learners achieve higher retention because more often than not, learners will need just-in-time support when they face a complex situation at work.

4. Whiteboard Animations. Animations and illustrations not only help capture learners’ attention, but also help them retain and internalize the learning effectively.

5. Kinetic Text. Presenting words as kinetic text animations is effective when you want to communicate concepts that are difficult to visualize or conceptualize.

6. Interactive PDFs. Interactive PDFs with user-friendly navigation and appealing visuals help when presenting tips, checklists, fact sheets, and more.

7. eBooks. eBooks offer the benefit of converting lengthy documents into manageable chunks, all while integrating audio and video to increase impact.

8. Expert Videos, Webinars & Recorded Webinar. Expert insights – in the form of expert videos, webinars, and recorded webinars – are respected by learners and can provide incredible learner support.

9. Webcast & Podcasts. The portability of webcasts and podcasts make them ideal PSTs – and they come with the added advantage of being quick and entertaining.


With so many tools, tips and technologies available, the efficacy and engagement of your learning program is limited only by your imagination.


By: Victoria Zambito, SVP of Content and Communications