The 70/20/10 Model for Workforce Learning & Development: How to Help Workers Improve Learning & Performance at Your Work

70/20/10 Workplace Learning Model Image

Have you heard of the 70/20/10 model as it’s used in workforce learning & development? It’s also sometimes called the 3 E’s (for Experience, Exposure, and Education), and two of the three parts of 70/20/10 (the 70 and 20) are often combined and referred to as informal learning.

Quite a few of you probably have heard of this idea–it’s a buzzword in L&D these days–but it’s possible that others haven’t.

In this post, we’ll briefly explain what the 70/20/10 model is, give you some ideas of how to use it, and explain a few reasons why.

We’re also curious to hear your own experiences and thoughts (as always), so don’t forget to leave your comments below.
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How to Write Better Smile Sheets: What’s Wrong With Traditional Training Evaluation Forms and How to Make Them Better

Smile-Sheet-GraphicIf you’re in training, you’re probably familiar with the sheets that trainers pass out to learners after a training session, asking the learners to evaluate the training session and the trainer.

These are known by a variety of names. Maybe you call them training-evaluation forms, or student-response forms, or trainee-reaction forms. But they’re also commonly–maybe most commonly–known as smile sheets.

Why smile sheets? Because it’s common for the learners attending training to give the training/trainer high scores that make everyone smile. But the common assumption is that the trainees do that politely, kindly, quickly, uncritically, and without giving any great thought. And so the term smile sheet is generally used somewhat dismissively, with the assumption that the information they contain doesn’t really provide a lot of value. Or, they’re assumed to hold much valuable information, even if that’s not really true due to poor design.

And yet, quite a few trainers continue to use smile sheets, and many of those trainers do nothing to improve them. Maybe they’ve never even thought of improving their smile sheets. It’s all become a bit of a habit to them, one they don’t think about because there’s so much else to think about, worry about, and to do.

I recently read a very good book called Performance-Focused Smile Sheets: A Radical Rethinking of a Dangerous Art Form by Dr. Will Thalheimer. The book explains some of the common problems with smile sheets, but also gives some very helpful tips to help make them better. We definitely suggest that you buy and read the book, and we’ve included a bunch of information to help you do that at the bottom of this article.

But for now, let’s look at some of the general points Thalheimer makes in his book and see what we can learn from them.

If you’re extra curious on this topic, I recommend you check out our interview with Dr. Thalheimer on smile sheets after you read this introduction.
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Helping Workers Acquire Basic Job Skills and Perform Standard Procedures

Teaching Workers Basic Job Skills and Procedures Image

In every job, there’s a set of basic skills and simple procedures that a worker filling that job has to learn to perform.

For an organization to perform at peak efficiency, it’s important that the workers in each job role know how to perform each of these skills and procedures.

But how does a company go about teaching those basic skills and procedures? How can employers help workers develop these skills and knowledge quickly and efficiently? And how does the company know if the workers can perform those procedures?

That’s what we’re going to look at in this article.
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Training that Helps Employees Learn Basic Job Knowledge

Training for Basic Job Knowledge Image

As a producer of learning management systems (LMSs) that are designed to let you to use a variety of different training delivery methods in a blended learning solution, we give a lot of thought to how employers can create the “best” blend.

Actually, we don’t think there’s any one simple answer to that question that you can apply every time. There are various ways to look at it, and each make sense in different circumstances.

However, one idea that we’re big fans of when creating a blended learning solution is to select the training delivery method (example–e-learning, written, video, field-based OJT, instructor-led classroom training, etc.) by considering the type of training material (the information) that you’re trying to convey, and/or the employee’s need for practice and feedback during training.

We’ve introduced that method of creating a blended learning solution in an earlier article. In this article, we’re going to take a deeper look at one aspect of the blend–training that’s designed to help employees acquire base-level, foundational knowledge that doesn’t require a lot of practice or feedback.

In other related articles, we’ve addressed training to help employees learn to basic job skills and procedures and training to help employees develop advanced job skills.
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How to Write Multiple-Choice Questions for Workforce Training

writing-mc-test-questions-for-online-training-activities-imageA lot of you write test questions for online training. Or even paper-based tests you’re still delivering the old-fashioned way (good on you!).

Maybe you’re doing it with an eLearning authoring tool, such as the ones from Articulate, Adobe, or Lectora.  Or maybe the learning management system (LMS) you use at work has a built in tool for creating online quizzes.

No matter how you’re writing tests for training, you may sometimes find yourself wondering about the best practices for writing standard question types. (By the way, instructional designers often use the wonky phrases “assessment” for a test and “assessment item” for a question within a test.)

We’ve got a few of those best practices for you below. Hope this helps you with your question writin’. 🙂
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How to Create Your Own Safety Training e-Learning Course-Recorded Webinar

Create Your Own Online Safety Training eLearning Course Image

Ever wish you could create your own safety training eLearning course that fits your particular training needs and is based on your own site-specific information?

You can, and this recorded webinar (below) shows you how. The webinar runs almost exactly an hour, and you can listen any time.

Once you know how to do this, you can make your own eLearning course anytime you want. Maybe even combine it with some off-the-shelf safety training eLearning courses for a nice blend of generic and custom, site-specific safety training eLearning at your workplace.

If you’d prefer the same information in a different format, we’ve got the same information in a written blog post including lots of helpful screen grabs. Or hey, you can check ’em both out! Why not?

Note: This webinar shows how to use an authoring tool created by Articulate. Many companies make similar authoring tools, and the tool used below isn’t the most recent created by Articulate. That point isn’t too important, though–the main idea is to show you the general idea of how to make your own online safety training course and show how relatively easy it can be.

Also, there’s a free Guide to Effective EHS Training below the webinar that you’re free to download if you’d like.
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10 Key Benefits of Online Safety Training

10 Benefits of Online Safety Training ImageWe believe the best way to provide safety training to your workers is to use a blended learning solution, mixing and matching the different types of training (instructor-led, field-based OJT, video, e-learning, written materials, social learning, webinars, etc.).

And that’s no surprise, since we write about it a lot, but also since it’s recommended by ASSE/ANSI z490.1, the US national standard for EHS training; by the noted learning researchers Dr. Ruth Colvin Clark (in her book Evidence-Based Training Methods) and by Dr. Will Thalheimer (in his Does eLearning Work? white paper); and by the US Department of Education, in their Evaluating Online Learning study.

But it’s also true that within a blended learning solution, when you select the type of training to use for each training need, you shouldn’t select randomly. Instead, you’ll want to look at the benefits and downsides of each training type, and try to find a match between training type and training need.

With that in mind, here’s a quick list of some advantages of online safety training. We’ve got 10 items on the list, and have given one or more examples or case study for each.

Hope you find some food for thought here.
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Blended Learning for Manufacturing Training

Blended Learning for Manufacturing Training Image

You can’t train a manufacturing workforce using just one “type” of training–just field-based OJT, just written materials, just instructor-led classroom-style training, just e-learning, etc.

Well, you can. But you won’t get the most effective training, and you won’t create a cost-effective training program. So you don’t want to.

Instead, it’s best to use a “blended learning” solution that mixes and matches different types of training. In fact, this recent and well-respected study suggests that blended learning solutions tend to lead to best learning results.

In this article, we’ll give a few reasons why you should consider a blended learning solution for your workers; give you some tips for creating the right blend to help workers acquire basic knowledge, develop skills and learn procedures, and develop advanced job skills that really create value for your company; and show you some tools and techniques for making this all happen smoothly.
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Using Scenario-based Training for Workforce Learning & Development

using-scenario-based-training imageIf you read current literature on training, one of the things you’ll read about a lot is scenario-based training. This goes by other names, too, including immersive learning and problem-based learning. For this article, we’re going to stick with scenario-based training.

No matter what you call it, there’s a reason why people talk about it a lot. Because it’s an effective way to learn. Within the context of job training, scenario-based training has a couple big advantages. These include:

  • Creating training that more directly matches true performances expected of the employee on the job
  • Making compliance training more active, fun, engaging, and effective
  • Reducing the amount of time it takes for an employee to develop expertise in his or her job (moving employee  from basic, foundational job knowledge and skills to advanced skills that create value for the company more quickly and efficiently)
  • Providing a safe learning environment in which employees can practice and learn from mistakes without harming themselves, machines, or business goals

This article will at least touch on all four of those points. But we’re going to primarily focus on how scenario-based training can reduce the amount of time it takes for an employee to develop advanced job skills and become an expert in his or her field, something everyone wants.

Along the way, we’re going to be focusing our lessons from a book by Dr. Ruth Colvin Clark. And we’ll also provide some examples and helpful resources from other influential writers on workforce L&D, including Anna Sabramowicz, Cathy Moore, and Christy Tucker. Hats off to all of them, and please do check out their work and articles (in particular, this interview we had with Anna Sabramowicz about using Storytelling & Scenarios in Job Training).

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Onboarding New Employees: Why and How to Do It

onboarding-new-employeesWhat do you do when a new employee is hired? Do you have a process for onboarding new employees?

Some organizations have no real plan for managing this process at all. Whatever happens, happens, and it varies from one new employee to the next based on a variety of circumstances.

Other organizations have some minimal preparations in place. The person gets a desk, computer, and phone, or the proper tools and safety equipment, and gets to fill out his or her benefit paperwork.

But high-performing organizations have a consistent, well-thought out new employee onboarding process in place. We’ll show you what that involves below. There’s even a checklist at the bottom for you.

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The Past, Present, and Future of Manufacturing Training

past-present-future-of-manufacturing-trainingTraining within manufacturing organizations has undergone a lot of changes over time, and there are plenty more changes coming.

In fact, even if you’re not aware of it, changes are happening right now. And the infrastructure that will lead to even more changes is coming soon.

If this seems interesting to you–and if you’re in manufacturing training, it should, because it directly affects your present and future realities–you may find the quick overview below of interest.

This is also a great post for including your own thoughts at the bottom, since so much of the future is speculative. Please share your own experiences and thoughts and let us learn from you.

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Determining Training ROI: Isolating the Effects of Your Training Program

Isolating the Effects of Training Programs on Business Goals ImageIn some recent articles, we’ve been looking at issues related to determining if your training program is having a desired positive effect, determining how big of a positive effect it’s having, and communicating that information internally within the training department but also externally with others in your workplace.

For example, we discussed the importance of aligning training with business goals, gave an overview of the commonly used Kirkpatrick evaluation model, and in our last article that touched on these issues, we looked at a way to evaluate the movement of a key performance indicator (KPI) after a training program was held.

In that same article, we also noted that although it’s great if you initiate a training program and see a KPI (or several KPIs) that the program is intended to effect respond in a positive manner, that’s not the whole story. Because there are other factors that may have influenced that KPI at the same time. And if that’s the case, who’s to say that the newly implemented training program truly deserves all the credit? Or how much of the credit it does deserve? Or even if it deserves any credit for the improved KPI?

And that introduction leads us straight to the point of this article. Today, we’re going to explain a few methods of “isolating the effects of your training program.” What this means is determining how much of that desired increase in the KPI your training program was responsible for–if any.

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