If you are using the 70-20-10 model, why are you asking for an ‘elearn’?

Posted by on 16 November 2016

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Potential clients often come to us wanting an ‘elearn’. We then ask some questions about the problem and we begin to talk about the 70-20-10 model and the full possibilities of digital learning. Depending on the problem we might discuss an approach, beyond just an elearn module, that integrates social learning and focuses on learning transfer.

Then, often to my surprise, our potential new client says, ‘Oh, yes, we use the 70-20-10 learning model already’. In the back of my mind I wonder why they are asking just for a formal solution, in that case. Then I discover that these organisations are using the model only as a part of their employees’ development plans, and are not actually applying it as a wider transformation of their L&D program.

If you're serious about the 70-20-10 model, you know that the one-dimensional approach of ‘just an elearn’ isn’t going to work. In actual fact, you might be undermining the development of your continuous learning culture.

All learning experiences, even if they have to start with a formal component, should be seen as an opportunity to enable a continuous learning culture. This doesn't mean that all learning experiences have to focus on informal or social learning. In our Learning While Working Framework, we have sorted the role of L&D programs into three functions:

  1. Bring new knowledge into an organisation

  2. Share existing knowledge

  3. Generate new knowledge and practices

In the Framework we have design patterns for each of these functions. Design patterns are common ways to solve problems. The ‘new knowledge’ design pattern starts with formal learning before moving into and integrating social learning and workplace learning activities, to transfer learning in the workplace.

Digital learning offers some powerful tools to enable, accelerate and track these types of approaches that are beyond just courses and producing content. When you begin to think about designing programs, think beyond just an ‘elearn’ and start to consider each program  as contributing to the design of your learning ecosystem.   


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