Just-In-Time Learning

Living in the “Information Age” comes with its challenges. During this time of immense innovation, information is constantly becoming obsolete and the development of technology has driven a cultural shift in how we consume information. While the digital revolution has provided society with an overabundance of information at our fingertips it also puts pressure on employees to know it all. The consequences of having “too much information” include individuals searching out excess information to a point of diminishing return and spreading themselves too thin by attempting to learn a little of everything. This state of incomplete understanding can be harmful to the decision-making process since individuals are not fully informed. This can occur when individuals explore a topic and only gain a superficial understanding but mistakenly assume they understand the entire concept. Information is a double-edged sword as it both supports and hinders decision-making within business. Thus, it is more crucial than ever to determine when your own knowledge is insufficient and to properly educate yourself to fill the identified holes.

Just-In-Time (JIT) learning theory is an ideal method to learn in this rapidly evolving, high volume world of information. JIT operates on the basis of sourcing information only when it is needed. The method starts with individuals identifying a gap in knowledge that prevents them from completing a task. Once a single learning objective is chosen, research is executed concisely in the desired area. This learning style implements targeted and timely research strategies and allows individuals to learn information when it is needed. The method was first introduced in coding boot camps and has since experienced exceptional growth and adoption. A recent study projected that JIT adoption among graduate students would increase at a rate of 138% in the coming years. Learning is often described as the key to success and JIT is a great way to reach your goals.

Continual learning is beneficial to both employers and employees. In fields like Venture Capital (VC) and angel investing it is almost essential since these groups rely making decisions based on the most current research. JIT strategy has tremendous potential to revolutionize the way these organizations learn. This type of learning within VC and angel investing is ideal as it conducts a timely and focused search for necessary information. Investors are constantly being introduced to companies that can use new technology, fall within an emerging market, and have unique go-to-market strategies. Typically, investors have an area of expertise but it is impossible to have a wide enough knowledge base within an ever changing and innovative field of private equity investment. A study found that within the typical timeframe of 83 days it takes to close a deal, an average of 118 hours are contributed to due diligence research. JIT learning theory provides an opportunity for individuals within VC to consume chunks of pertinent information for their projects that are understandable and enhances their knowledge. The acceptance of JIT strategy has immense potential to improve efficiency of research and increasing understanding, which inevitably would lead to more informed decision making and a higher potential return on investments.

Sources:

https://www.wired.com/insights/2014/06/beyond-information-age/

https://elearningindustry.com/jit-learning-leads-learning-effectiveness

https://www.forbes.com/sites/ryancraig/2015/07/14/the-just-in-time-education-revolution/?sh=63bd856a46c7

https://hbr.org/2021/03/how-venture-capitalists-make-decisions#:~:text=A%20typical%20deal%20takes%2083,analysis%20techniques%20to%20assess%20deals

Morgan is a sophomore from Lee, NH who is pursuing a major in Business Administration. She is an active member of UNH’s professional business fraternity, Alpha Kappa Psi. Presently, she works at the InterOperability Lab (IOL) at UNH as a test technician for NVMe SSDs. There she has been able to expand her knowledge of different forms of technology and network with companies worldwide. At the IOL, Morgan leads the weekly testing, communicates with vendors about status updates, coordinates reservations, and executes device bug fixes. Morgan is excited to start her first semester in the Fund so she can further her understanding of successful startups and promote the entrepreneurial spirit by working alongside other talented individuals.

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