Why You Need To Leverage Mobile For Performance Support


Have you ever struggled with performing a task previously covered in long training sessions? You’re not alone - we have all been there!

We forget almost 80% of what we learn in just 30 days - unless we get an opportunity to apply that knowledge.This is precisely why you need performance support. These short content nuggets (typically how performance support is packaged) help learners to learn a specific task and solve an immediate problem or perform on a given task. They could remind learners how to apply their formal training on the job or just be standalone pieces focusing on an entirely new knowledge/skill.

In our personal lives too, we are getting very used to performance support. Have you faced an issue with your mobile recently or had to struggle with the settings of your new television set or had to repair those windows that had started letting the winter chill in? No wonder, you had to rush to YouTube for those how to videos. That’s what we do more often and have termed it as performance support in our personal lives.

Performance support can be used to perform a task or make a decision and then forgotten - if you like!

Why Performance Support Matters?

Gottfredson has classified all the various moments when one has learning needs into 5 specific types as below:

  • When learning for the first time.
  • When wanting to learn more.
  • When trying to remember.
  • When things change.
  • When something goes wrong.

The first two moments of need emerge in a ‘teach’ like environment while the last three are more likely when actually performing a task. Any learning support - quick search for answers, how to videos, or expert guidance addressing the last three moments of learning needs, is very effective in closing the gap between learning and performance. Hence performance support is so crucial.

Why Mobile Matters?

Mobile has a variety of affordances – it is always with the user (even in the loo for most), it’s almost always connected, it is a computer with search, apps, and media capability. It has the ability to deliver relevant and incredibly useful content, in context. With all this it effortlessly becomes the device of choice for providing performance support. Mobile also provides ability to collaborate with peers and experts from anywhere. It even empowers user-generated content, which helps constantly update the resources that are being searched. I have shared my thoughts on how Android Wear and Snapchat Spectacles could be useful for performance support.

Mobile is inherently about getting stuff done even when offline. Without the need for constant network access, mobile makes information accessible anytime and anywhere. It is thus most suitable to power your performance support initiatives. Leveraging mobile effectively for performance can help organizations effectively close learning to performance gaps.

By Amit Garg