The 3E quotient of the 70:20:10 model of learning

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That a paradigm shift is happening in the sphere of learning is a fact known world-over. With Internet of Things (IoT) playing a dominant role in businesses, it is a foregone conclusion that learners will have to fine-tune their ways of learning depending on the needs and challenging situations they face from time to time.

Hands-on experience and practice in learning

One can enhance the learning process by embracing the latest technologies. But, it is also possible to understand and adopt learning methodologies that are still relevant and fresh in the minds of people. For instance, who can forget the significance of the 70:20:10 model of learning that had its root in the Sixties? Charles Jennings, the proponent of this framework, clearly specifies that it is not a “recipe for success” but a reference model that allows the learner to go through the cycle of ‘Experience, Exposure and Education’ – that can have a three-fold impact for an organization. By following the 3Es or the split model, there is an opportunity to make the executive, management, and functional development of an organization or a business more robust.

Of course, even in a digitized world, continuous learning is here to stay. But who can forget the lessons learnt in the past?

70-20-10 model of learning framework

Remember the first time you rode your bicycle without those training wheels? You would recall how your mentor or guide might have held you and ran along for a while (mile?) directing you, hand-holding you every step of the way! Having the ability to learn and thereby honing your skills will surely lead to confidence besides building competence. For, the moment the mentor lets go, you would have ended up several times maybe with bruises, a chipped tooth and what not! But then the sheer pleasure of mastering the art of riding would have made you brave it all while you again stepped on the pedal with enthusiasm and effort. So, it’s the tentative step well-taken that leads the learner to quickly get the ‘owning the wheels’ experience.

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What if every learning cycle was such a memory? Wouldn’t it be rooted deeply and also prove enjoyable? You could hone your skill-sets to sustain the knowledge gained. Likewise, a key component of the 70:20:10 model of learning is experience-based while the next big chunk is taken up by the mentorship. It is only the last part that constitutes formal learning, which means a structured way of improving skill-sets and knowledge.

Given the constant pressure to raise the performance bar and the prevalence of exorbitant tools and technologies, it becomes imperative for people development to happen at the same speed as business, or even faster. New experiences, opportunities, new roles, responsibilities and new jobs mean people are driven to find out ways and means (best practices) to stay ahead in the race for success. The emphasis is for learners’ to believe that they “can manage their own learning”. To squeeze more out of this model and get the essence, it is time to hear the man who gave it a more directed push – Charles Jennings

At what stage are you in?

  • 70:20:10 framework: Own the wheels.
  • Design your learning curve.
  • Riding a bicycle?

70% Hands-on experience and practice (possible to acquire at work)

Imagine you did not get on your cycle and pedal it ever and stuck to observing others who were cycling. You wouldn’t have understood the concept of balance or figured out how to attain it. Similarly, hands-on exposure and solid experience is only through regular practice. This develops core competencies apart from accelerating the learning path

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20% through mentoring, networks, socializing, and regular feedback:

How? : There is no starting or ending point. Striking a conversation during coffee breaks to getting mentored by senior colleagues and experts – the possibilities are endless! Such interactions can be used to iron out problems or to obtain critical and constructive feedback. This plays a crucial role in learning about the industry, expectations of the customers and also acts as a catalyst in self-evaluation. Apart from inducing positive growth, it nurtures focused and continuous learning.

10% comes from the traditional methods of classroom learning and training

The inevitable cogs of a wheel! Yes. At any point theoretical learning though less significant according to this plan functions as the nuts and bolts of the system, which holds the structure together. Deriving from the experience of others is essential to eliminate obvious errors and to overcome challenging situations. The knowledge thus gained strengthens the fundamentals, gives us a place to get started, and makes us understand why a certain pattern or path needs to be retraced often. For these are your training wheels!


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