Do You Know The 5 Moments of Learning?

People are taking courses every day, but why?

There are courses on specific hobbies, employee on-boarding, compliance training, teaching new skills – the list goes on.

But we don’t always learn through formal courses. A lot of what we learn can be categorized as “on-the-fly”, or informally. It can also be said that we have various reasons in why we want to learn.

Mosher & Gottfredson have identified five moments in which we learn. They are as follows:

  1. New: You learn something new for the first time
  2. More: You are expanding upon the knowledge of what has already been learned
  3. Apply: You act upon what has been learned (this includes things like planning, remembering or adapting)
  4. Solve: You use your knowledge to solve a problem in a situation that didn’t work out as initially expected
  5. Change: You learn how to do something in a new/different way which requires giving up the familiar for the unknown

Knowing which moment your training or course falls into can be helpful in creating the objectives, marketing the course (if you are selling it), and even how you deliver the content.

For example, if you are creating e-learning that falls into the “More” moment, then you will be better able to profile your learners because you will have a baseline understanding of what they already know (and what it is you will be expanding upon). In turn, this helps you to eliminate content that may be redundant or simply not needed given the learners’ background.

If you are creating training content that falls into the “Change” moment, then you will likely place greater emphasis on diagrams, infographics, and verbiage that describes how things should be done today versus how they should be done after the course. There is a lot of “before & after” language used in courses focusing on change all tied together with reasons why the changes is necessary (which is needed to establish buy-in).

There are other ways you can leverage these five moments as well. If you would like to learn more then I recommend reading this article on capitalizing on the “need moments”.


Justin Ferriman is the co-founder and CEO of LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by Fortune 500 companies, major universities, training organizations, and entrepreneurs worldwide for creating (and selling) their online courses. Let's Talk! | Twitter

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