Job Aids & Performance Support

I’m currently working on a project that requires me to get back to some performance and training analysis. Of course, my initial outlook is that training can often be a problem looking for a solution.

I had to review the basics and decided to read Rossett & Schaffer’s, Job Aids & Performance Support. This is a good introduction to performance support, and more up to date than Gery’s classic EPSS. The section on when performance support is appropriate is a good reminder for everyone in our field:

  • When performance is infrequent
  • When the situation is complex
  • When the consequence of errors is intolerable
  • When performance depends on a large body of information
  • When performance is dependent on knowledge or information that changes frequently
  • When performance can be improved through self-assessment
  • When there is a high turnover rate
  • When there is little time or money for training

Sound like any workplace you know?

There is an excellent sidebar in the book by Marc Rosenberg, author of Beyond e-Learning:

This is our challenge when we blend interventions to solve performance problems. We must recognize that relying solely on blending instructional solutions is not always the best way to meet the economic worth test for long-term, sustainable and valued performance improvement. Including performance support in the mix lowers overall investment, reduces time to competence, and makes the solution more durable over time …

I’m still amazed that performance support is not seen as a standard intervention for all training and learning organisations. The data are there; it works.

8 Responses to “Job Aids & Performance Support”

  1. Karyn Romeis

    “I’m still amazed that performance support is not seen as a standard intervention for all training and learning organisations.”

    Me too, me too!

  2. Dave Ferguson

    I just bought Rossett’s new book myself. Alas, performance support is one of those solutions you often have to smuggle in under the guise of training, because far too many people think in terms of dosages.

    One project I worked on recently involved web-based training for one of those mandatory-awareness topics (like EEO policy, safety, or sexual harassment). One requirement was that the online version had to take two hours to complete.

    Why? Because, in at least one state, supervisors by law must complete two hours of training in this topic.

  3. Karyn Romeis

    And where is the evidence that they have learnt anything at all in those two hours? Or, for that matter, that two hours is the optimum time frame? Box ticking at its worst!

  4. Harold Jarche

    I would recommend Rossett & Schaffer’s, Job Aids & Performance Support, as I still use it. I haven’t read any more recent books on the subject.


Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)