The 70:20:10 model: Why part of it should not be underestimated

by John Hilton01 Feb 2016
Even though the 10 part of the 70:20:10 model is the smallest, it must be taken very seriously, according to Stephen Billett, Professor of Adult and Vocational Education in the School of Education and Professional Studies at Griffith University.
Billett told L&D Professional that he is not sure about the accuracy of the actual three percentages of the 70:20:10 model because it probably depends on what job you do.
“However, I think that the 10% can be very important,” he said.
Indeed, Billett added that in the case of a pilot, the 10% might involve how to land the plane, or how the plane takes off.
Further, the 10% could be the part where the medical practitioner needs to understand chemistry and those sorts of topics which are essential to their work.
In other words, the 10% might be the crucial learning that you require to be effective in your job, he added.
“I think it’s helpful to appreciate the fact that a lot of our learning comes through practice. It might be 70% or more than 70%, but the 10% is also really significant,” he said.
Billett added that the 10% is going to be most important when the activities of the training session or the educational program are integrated with what people are doing in their work life.
For instance, Billett himself has recently completed a five-day learning course on statistical methods because he found the subject matter too frustrating to learn on his own.
He explained to L&D Professional that if he doesn’t go and implement the knowledge he has gained from the course within a short period of time it will be a wasted opportunity.
This is because he could forget the subject matter and won’t be able to use it effectively.
“So when we think about the 70:20:10 we also need to think about the relationships across the 70:20:10 because these things don’t stand alone, he said.
“And it’s not a matter of looking at it and saying because 70% of learning occurs in the workplace therefore the 10% isn’t important. Rather, each of the elements are important.
Billett added that one of the concerns when it comes to that 10% question, is that workplaces often send their employees to training courses where the workers learn what the workplace thinks they should learn.
“That can be really useful but unless people really want to engage with it and make sense of it then it’s going to be insufficient on its own,” he said.
L&D Professional is currently running a poll on whether or not the 70:20:10 model is still relevant today. You can vote by clicking here.
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