The 70:20:10 model – how adults learn 90% of what they need to know

Interesting post on the Conferences That Work blog:

Research indicates that informal learning—experiential, social, and self-directed—makes up about 90% of the learning modalities that professionals use today. Only 10% of adult learning uses formal classroom or meeting presentation learning formats. This ratio of experiential:peer/self-directed:formal learning is known as the 70:20:10 rule. Here’s a quick overview by Charles Jennings:

I’m giving this a lot of thought in the context of IBM Connect and our own Social Connections events.  If we forget over 50% of the content we’re taught in formal sessions within an hour, then surely there must be a way to improve those learning experiences?  Could we make them more interactive?

Perhaps we could give materials to the session attendees to complete during and after the session? Give them direct access to demo environments from their laptops and tablets whilst listening to the speakers etc.

I definitely want to explore how when we meet next time at a Social Connections conference we can maximise the retention of information and leave attendees with a far better learning experience!

Stuart McIntyre is a Senior Strategist at Fostering Community Limited. He curates a number of product-focused news sites, is a lapsed podcaster, founded the Social Connections user group and regularly speaks at conferences and events. This blog represents his own slightly-eccentric and usually-controversial opinions!

  • Mike McGarel

    Great video find, Stuart. For what it’s worth, hands on experience and better retention are the primary goals of the annual XPages workshop at MWLUG.