University of Wisconsin–Madison

The 70/20/10 Model, Part 1

The 70/20/10 Model

Changing the Way We Experience Learning

Imagine attending a course on how to build a house. During the class, you see a lot of blueprints and tools, but never pick up a hammer. Have you really learned to build a house? In this situation, you may have learned the fundamentals of house building, yet without participating in the construction of an actual house, you will quickly lose the knowledge of those fundamentals.

Now, change the setting from a home building course to a seminar on HR hiring best practices and this situation may resonate even louder. Participating in a training session at work can be a wonderful learning opportunity. However, to make learning stick, you must use it on the job. This belief is at the core of the 70/20/10 model. The model suggests that learning is most effective when it falls, roughly, into the ratio of: 70% learning through experience (e.g. creating your own pivot table in Excel); 20% learning through others (e.g. coaching); 10% learning through formal training (e.g. attending conferences).

In the upcoming months, the HR CoP newsletter will contain articles that explore each component of the 70/20/10 model in more depth and provide examples of how to incorporate this model on campus.