Increase Your E-Learning ROI to 90% Using The 70:20:10 Model of Learning

2nd September 2015

According to Morgon Mcall’s 70:20:10 model of learning, 70% of our learning is carried out most efficiently from on the job training, 20% from a mentor and 10% from study.

Many HR personnel reading this would therefore assume that their training budgets would be best spent on the floor training or shadowing a more experienced member of staff.

After all, most of us feel more confident in a task if we’re able to practice first under guidance, until the task becomes ingrained. Somehow, reading a manual or learning in a classroom environment, just doesn’t have the same impact and seems disassociated from the real deal.

Learning in the way that we learned as infants, through experimentation, social contact and by doing, is still by far the most natural and effective means of acquiring a new skill.

Where does e-learning fit in the 70:20:10 hierarchy?

Traditionally e-learning has always been seen as part of the ‘Courses and Reading’, i.e. the 10% category, which on the face of it, doesn’t seem to be much of a return for your investment.

However, by applying the principles of the 70:20:10 methodology with a little imagination, an elearning solution can deliver so much more than a mere 10% attributed to it.

Here’s how:

On the Job (the 70%)

Although traditionally this would imply training given on the job, this can be repurposed into a digital solution through the use of simulations and scenarios, without the associated risks.

For example, creating an e-learning programme that can simulate the systems environment of a software suite is a great way to encourage staff to experiment with different functions or follow step by step instructions until they are confident in using the real version.

The ‘no risk’ environment removes the anxiety associated with pressing the wrong button and allows users the freedom to have fun and try out all the functions of the software. In effect employing the ‘learning by doing’ approach to learning.

Mentorship (the 20%)

Within an e-learning environment, the social and mentorship aspect can be the hardest to integrate into a course. Due to the nature of onscreen interaction, it is mostly a solitary pursuit not easily repurposed to bring in the social/mentorship elements. Although difficult, it is by no means impossible.

For a long time instructional designers have used course guides as a means of addressing the learner directly and making the learning more relatable. This can definitely help the learner to engage with the training but it is still a one-way interaction that doesn’t allow for a dialogue between learner and tutor.

However, with new technologies being implemented into MOOC platforms (Massively Open Online Courses) and the development of more social LMS environments, learners can benefit from a real-time two way interaction between themselves, the tutor and even other learners.

One way this can be achieved is the use of chat box functionality accessible either in the course itself or via the Learning Management System (LMS). Learners can ask questions and interact as they would if the trainer was with them and advising them on the job.

Taking this one step further, the learner can continue to learn on the job with the use of companion apps that remind them of the course learnings and offer chat functionality with Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) who may not even be based in the same location.

Reading (the 10%)

Although not the most exciting aspect of any training solution, it is still vital that learners read, understand and have ready access to important documents outlining policies and procedures.

By integrating these into the resources section of an elearning course, the learner has access to these documents anytime they need to, merely by logging into their LMS. The course can therefore become a repository for important and relevant documentation that can be printed off as needed.

As you can see, elearning needn’t be relegated to a mere 10% of learning methodology.

By considering how we learn and developing a learning strategy that employs a range of approaches, it is possible to deploy an e-learning course that truly engages staff members and most importantly, actually works.

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