Job Aids are common in the workplace, and employees have been self-publishing them for on-demand learning for years. A sheet of paper taped to the copy machine that explains the steps for clearing a paper jam is a Job Aid. The list of contact names and telephone numbers posted above the receptionist’s desk are Job Aids.
Job Aids are essential training tools when individuals join an organization one at a time, and it’s economically impracticable to conduct instructor-led training. With Job Aids, the new-hire can virtually train themselves! Job aids are also handy reference tools, so when the new-hire becomes inundated with new information, Job Aids provide a resource for reference rather than having to go back to their mentor or trainer for support.
It is the Human Resource Development (HRD) professional that can identify a performance gap and determine if training or performance support is the solution. Specifically, the role of the Instructional Designer is to assure that Job Aids contain all steps and contingencies so that the Job Aid can stand alone as a training aid and future reference tool. The Instructional Designer is experienced in utilizing instructional systems design models that consider the environment in which learners are expected to perform, characteristics of the learners, and characteristics of the learning environment that could impact the effectiveness of the instruction.