Points of Learning Need

When and why do people try to learn something? What are these points of learning need?

Whilst many of us who work in elearning are highly attuned to how people like to learn and what, even, helps them to learn, we often fail to understand when and why they chose to try to learn something in the first instance.

In this London eLearning Reading Group session, Toby Harris (Solution Architect at Filtered), and Chris Littlewood (Filtered’s Director of Data Science & Innovation) will lead the reading group discussing this question often called the ‘points of learning need’. Chris will also lead a demo, showing how they use these ideas in their AI and in their research findings.

Key questions to be addressed include:

  • What is the state of current research about points of learning need?
  • How has technological change in the past five, ten and thirty years changed things?
  • How can we run good experiments (like diary studies) to grow that knowledge?


We will look at two important contributions to this field:

Allen Tough’s ‘Why people Learn’ chapter five of The Adult’s Learning Projects (1971)

Bob Mosher and Conrad Gottfredson’s article: ‘Are You Meeting All Five Moments of Learning Need?’ in Learning Solutions (2012)


To stimulate discussion Chris will do a demonstration to explain the methodology they used to develop a more sophisticated ‘learner model’ for Filtered’s learning recommendation engine, magpie, and share early findings from the data science team’s research.

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