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reflections of the team

Key Take-aways from Bob Mosher's Masterclass

I recently attended a masterclass with Bob Mosher in Antwerp. Bob Mosher is a well-respected voice in the Learning and Development community and is among many things, co-author of the book: "Innovative Performance Support: Strategies and Practices for Learning in the Workflow".

At Arboth, we developed our own framework for blended learning solutions, called aXles. aXles is conceptually very aligned with Bob Mosher’s approach, who explores optimal ways to combine formal and informal learning solutions.

Picture taken during masterclass. Courtesy Bob Mosher.

Picture taken during masterclass. Courtesy Bob Mosher.

One of the concepts he is often quoted for is "The 5 moments of need", developed with Conrad Gottfredson. "The 5 moments of need" identifies that depending on where you are in the learning cycle, other learning methods are required. When you are new to a specific matter or you’ve discovered something and want to know more about it, formal learning (through instructors or digitally) is often the preferred way.

On the other hand, when you are on the job and want a solution for a problem or you discover something has changed, more informal - performance support - approaches appear to work better. "The 5 moments of need" are therefore an underlying concept we use in aXles to decide what approach (eXpose, eXplain, eXperience or eXchange) to use and when.

Less is More

One of our strategies is to do no more formal training than needed. My first main take-away from this masterclass took this one step further. Less is more: no more training than needed AND no more support than required at any moment.

Critical Skills Analysis

A concept that was new to me and hence my second take-away, was CSA: Critical Skills Analysis.  In essence, CSA is an approach where you score each of the skills that are required on a 7 point scale. If 0, the skill is irrelevant and thus no support at all is to be provided. From 1 to 7, the skill is relevant and the score indicates the potential disaster that the lack of this skill could generate: 7 being an absolute disaster, in CSA terms "catastrophic". In such cases, fatalities are likely, in employees or in the existence of the company.

Bob Mosher's conclusion is that any skill graded 4 or lower does not require training, just good performance support. Only when the grade is 5 or higher, you cannot just hope people will find the correct support. You need to train them in a formal way (instructor-led or digitally). I can clearly see the relevance of CSA as an additional tool in helping to decide what learning approach to use and when.

Parallel Dynamic Process

And then, there was a third take-away: integration. I have always been convinced of the need for integration between the building blocks of a blended learning solution. But my focus was on consistency in content, layout and message. This is a static view on integration.

What struck me during Bob Mosher's presentation was the focus on dynamic integration. It is my belief that learning is a process and should be designed as such, and thus not as a one-time event. And yet, Mosher’s masterclass still opened my eyes: It raised my consciousness that learning is a parallel dynamic process. This dynamic process actively assists the learner in transitioning from formal to informal learning, as he or she evolves through the 5 moments of need.

Truly, Bob Mosher’s masterclass was a day well spent!

Follow us in the months to come to learn how all these ideas are digested, discussed and integrated into our own aXles model.