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Adopting a Performance Support Mindset: The 5 Moments of Learning Need

It should come as no surprise that the way that people are choosing to learn has changed.

Gone are the days of attending multiple days of training to learn a new skill or software program. Instead, learners are looking up content when they need it most.

If I think about all the ways that I learned something over the past few months, I could rattle off a list of answers ranging from articles, books, and videos. Just a few weeks ago when I was putting together a new bookcase for my home office, I quickly flipped through the instructions and put it together in less than 30 minutes. Does this mean I’m doing to become Rhode Island’s Next Top Carpenter? Not a chance! But I did learn just enough to get the task done.

Performance Support Defined

The eLearning Guild defines performance support as “a tool or other resource ranging from print to technology- supported, which provides just the right amount of task guidance, support and productivity benefits to the user, precisely at the moment of need”.

In other words, performance support is a resource available at the moment of need that makes it easier for people to perform. Performance Support is not about teaching someone EVERYTHING there is to know about something; rather it’s about giving them the right amount of support, complexity, or detail right at the time they need it.

This might seem like a new framework to some, but performance support has actually been around for decades in the form of checklists, job-aids, help articles, process diagrams, recipes, you name it.

How to get into the Performance Support Mindset

Two years ago, I read Bob Mosher’s and Con Gottfredson’s book Innovative Performance Support.  The book provides a framework based on the 5 moments of learning need.

The 5 moments of learning need

  1. NEW: When learning something for the first time.
  2. MORE: When you’re seeking to learn more about something.
  3. APPLY: When trying to apply or remember something or adapt performance to a unique situation.
  4. SOLVE: When attempting to solve a problem or deal with something that has gone wrong.
  5. CHANGE: When something changes that requires a change in how work gets done.

The first 2 moments focus on the learner’s knowledge acquisition, whether this means training people on processes, procedures, or concepts for the first time or expanding upon their existing knowledge. The remaining moments of need shift to learners applying their knowledge, solving issues, or adapting to change. It’s helpful to keep in mind, that you would provide a learner with different content and information based on their moment of need. For example, if the learner is trying to solve a problem with a software program they might contact a service desk or read a help article. On the other hand, if they’re learning about an updated sales procedure, the learner may watch a video about the changed process.

Now, think about the 5 moments of learning need and where you may encounter them within your own lives. As you begin to think about the framework, I have a feeling you’ll be amazed with how frequently the moments come up within your day to day tasks.

In my next article, I’ll cover considerations about developing performance support and how to get buy in within your organization.

Ready to learn more?

Check out my Adopting the Performance Support Mindset session at Learning Solutions in March.


New Year, New Goals: A Look into 2018

Believe it or not 2018 is finally here.

I rang in the year at a New Year’s Spiritual Renewal Retreat at Kripalu and it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I disconnected from my phone for 60+ hours and went through some rejuvenating yoga, meditation, and reiki sessions. And of course, I also got to chow down on some tasty organic food!

Now that i’m feeling refreshed, i’m ready to hit the ground running into 2018.

2017 was an exciting year.

What a busy time – I juggled a full time job and second year in my masters program all while trying to have a personal life. I traveled more than usual (Seattle, San Diego, Buffalo, Bennington, and Cape Cod). I became an aunt for the first time and even became a first time Cat mom!

2018 will bring more growth:

One of my major goals for this year is to use my voice more. This means writing (whether it be articles, tweeting, etc) and talking about all of the learning yumminess i’ve been practicing over the past few years.

It also means hitting the road to present at conferences. I’ll be heading to Orlando to present at Learning Solutions and Seattle for ISPI’s Annual Conference.

Another major goal is to continue practicing blending UX and Learning Design. During October of last year, I was fortunate enough to move into a Learning Experience Design role at my company. This introduced me to the world of wireframes, prototypes, design concepts, user personas, and much more.

Overall, i’m really excited to see where 2018 takes me and i’m wishing everyone a healthy and happy year ahead!

2017 Year in Review

2017, what a ride it’s been! To much of my friends dismay, I actually revisit my goals every year during my birthday month (November). I’ve spent the past few weeks mulling over 2017 and finally decided to write about some of the things I’ve accomplished this year:


I launched my personal website

Talk about long overdue! Redesigning my personal website has been on my goals list for about 15 months now and I am so happy that I crushed it out in the final month of 2017.

My goal was to at least to get something live to showcase projects I’ve been working on. I also wanted an area where I could start blogging about learning, UX, and a ton of other topics. I hope to grow onto the foundation of the site in the coming months.



I finished my second year of grad school

At the beginning of 2017, I decided to drop down to one class per semester. This was such a hard decision for a perfectionist like myself but looking back I’m glad I decided to go this route.

Lessening my course load meant that I could fully immerse myself in readings and assignments. I’m happy to report that this month, I finished my second full year of classes! The change pushed my graduation date back to August 2019, but grad school is a marathon, not a sprint. I’m also loving reading about theories in my classes and then immediately going into work to applying everything I’m learning directly into projects.


I trained for a half marathon

After spending roughly 3.5 months training in the freezing winter weather, I had to bow out of the Providence Half after tearing my hip flexor muscle. I’ve been in and out of PT since then and still have a pang in my heart for missing that race. This was the first time in my life where my brain wanted to do something so badly, but my body just wasn’t having it.

The recovery time was excruciatingly painful but the down time taught me the power of listening to my body and intuition more. I also have so much more appreciation for my body in it’s healthy state than I ever did before.


I rediscovered my love for mindfulness practices

The down time from running gave me time to rediscover my love for mindfulness practices like yoga, reiki, and meditation.

After a few years off, I dived back into practicing meditation on regular basis. I read a ton of books on various holistic practices and attended a ton of classes and workshops. This meant getting level 1 certified in reiki and even signing up for my level 2 certification in early 2018!

My true dream is to combine my love for learning and holistic practices into the world of technology. I’m not sure what that means yet but I’m so excited to see how it pans out.


I embarked on my first consulting project

During the spring, I attended an Astrology 101 course at The Empowerment Factory in Pawtucket, RI. That is where I discovered the truly talented Astrologer, Steven Seinberg (Arrow in Flight). I was immediately drawn to Steve and his passion for metaphysical practices. We partnered together, and we’re currently in the process of redesigning his in-person training courses into a series of virtual micro-learning videos! He is such a pleasure to work with and has a ton of knowledge about a number of metaphysical practices.


I applied and was accepted to present at some conferences

You heard that right! This introvert got her wings and is ready to take the conference circuit by storm in 2018.

It’s no surprise that I LOVE Learning. So much that I made it my career and spent much of my life filling my brain up with random facts. This year, I decided it’s better to share everything that I’ve been learning with others.

I’ll be presenting at The Elearning Guilds Learning Solutions conference about Adopting a Performance Support Mindset in March. I’ll also be heading to Seattle to present about Designing eLearning for Cross Cultural Global Workplace Needs at the International Society of Performance Improvement (ISPI) conference in April.


I began 2017 as my “Adventurous Introvert year” and it truly has turned out to be such a wild ride. I look forward to everything that 2018 has to offer!


2018 Speaking Engagements

I am very excited to announce that I have 2 upcoming speaking engagements slated for Spring 2018!

  • Adopting a Performance Support Mindset @ Learning Solutions in Orlando, FL. Learning Solutions is a great conference put on by the eLearning Guild every year. I truly cannot recommend the Guild highly enough!
  • Designing eLearning for Cross-Cultural Global Workplace Needs @ the International Society of Performance Improvement (ISPI) Annual Conference in Seattle, WA. This will be my first year attending and I will be co-presenting with my one of my professors for the OPWL program, Lisa Giacumo.

I hope to see you there!


Lessons Learned from FocusOn17

Two weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to go to The eLearning Guild’s FocusOn 2017 Conference in San Diego, CA. It was my third conference with the Guild and once again I was able to I walk away with some great insights! Each year the FocusOn conference centers around 3 technologies within the learning industry. This year the focuses were mobile, games, and video.

As always, many of my best conversations came from speaking with others in the field. The eLearning Guild conferences provide a great opportunity for practitioners to get together to share their expertise and lessons learned.

I attended a number of sessions about up and coming technologies within the industry. Many of these sessions focused on incorporating the use of virtual reality, personalized learning, and curated content. One thing that jumped out to me with the rise of personalized and curated content is the importance of content management systems. Often times, learning organizations are producing mounds of content and in order to provide better recommendations for our learners we need to make sure that the content we are creating and pushing out is appropriately findable, keyed, and tagged.

I also attended a number of sessions about gamification and scenario based learning. These sessions seemed like a great reinforcement to much of the content that I am learning in my coursework this semester. I was able to see some real world examples of branched scenarios and interactive videos.

Finally, this trip was very eye opening for me personally! I am a little over 1/3 of the way through my masters program with Boise State, while simultaneously working full time with The Predictive Index. This means that I am often heads down with work and classes. This trip allowed me to reach my head above water and see how far I’ve come within the industry. My masters program has allowed me to speak intelligently about theories and concepts, while my full time position allows me to begin applying new lessons learned immediately.

Overall, it was a great conference and I cannot wait to begin applying what I’ve learned within my organization!