Hi All, 

For the last 10+ years I've been out of the UK, working as an Edutech-trainer, then as an instructional designer in Italy. I've now started the process of moving back to work in the UK.

I've got experience working with just about every term I've come across so far in the LSG forums (blended, social, gamification, learner-paced etc.) However, I had never heard of 70:20:10 in Europe until the LSG webinars two weeks ago.

My question to you folk is this: is 70:20:10 a widely-used approach in the UK? Is it something that I will be expected to have experience of as an Instructional Designer when doing ID work in the UK? My impressions from the webinar were that it is possibly just a passing fad (like gamification?!) I'd really appreciate any ideas, resources or criticisms of the approach that you all may have. Most of all, should I invest in learning 70:20:10 more deeply?

Thanks for your thoughts, 


P.S. I originally thought 70:20:10 was something like the (very useful) 80-20 approach my company uses to decide what SME content is most critical and will have the biggest impact on the company (the 20% "must learn" content.) This 20% goes into the interactive, story-based e-learning activities we build.

The remaining "learn on need" content, which is useful, but can be learnt on the job, using job aids, or wiki-style databases. It's an approach which works well for us, but seems distinctly different from 70:20:10

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Hi Seth

You might find this post from Sukhvinder Pabial on this very topic quite interesting as it has sparked some debate among other L&Ders about the relevance of 70:20:10 and how we use it:


Hi Kyla,

Thanks for the link, it's a really nice, succinct overview of how the 70:20:10 model can work rather than an explanation of what it is/does.

One thing I particularly like about the model (and the post) is the idea of facilitating the social learning, rather than stipulating it must happen. It seems to have its roots firmly planted in constructivist learning theory, which has always been a favourite of mine.

It seems to make a lot of sense. It'd be interesting to see what sort of results actively planning to facilitate the 70% and 20% parts achieves.


I've been a big fan of Charles Jennings & 70:20:10 for several years after I attended one of his presentations - I've given you some links below to find out more including the forum. I've been trying to adopt 70:20:10 in my training and when I do it seems to work very well. Of course its work in progress to get all my material converted to this way of thinking but I really like the basic principles and in my experience they seem to work well. The idea of making the right resources available at the right time so individuals can direct their own learning is the key concept as I understand it.

A simple you tube explanation of 70:20:10 = http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6WX11iqmg0

and Charles' blog


and a link to a forum = https://www.702010forum.com/

You don't need to join to see some of the material. I'm sure there are many other sources too.

Thank you Gareth! I'll go take a good look through now.

I'm particularly keen on finding out how other professionals integrate the 70 and the 20 section into their training programs. It'll be interesting to see what sort of ways they have found to facilitate this.



Good to see you on the forums! Strange that you haven't heard of 70:20:10 in the rest of Europe. That must tell us something but I'm not sure what!

I think 70:20:10 is a useful idea or 'scaffold' (it definitely isn't a model). Clearly most individuals learn as they go. Generally this learning is messy...often it's ineffective or inefficient...that's why we generally refer to it as 'informal learning' (see Jay Cross) as a pose to 'formal' learning (the stuff L&D are usually responsible for) which is of course very effective and efficient (just kidding).

Closely allied with 70:20:10 is social learning and also knowledge management. Both these approaches seek to facilitate peer to peer learning. Clearly this is a potentially powerful approach but it's not simple to implement.

Here are a couple of blogs on the topic that explore some of my reservations:

Social Learning and Knowledge Management

Why Social Learning won't Work


I think the answers above have given you a good set of ideas about the 70:20:10 model (I differ from John above as I definitely see 70:20:10 as a reference model or framework - but definitely not a 'rule').

The only piece I would add is to say that 70:20:10 extends thinking about learning to encompass support for learning in the workplace (where most learning occurs) - that's the '20' and '70'.  It is also a holistic model in that it provides a lens to view learning as a continuous process - sometimes learning in a structured way (through class/workshop courses and eLearning), sometimes through others (social learning) and sometimes through experiences and practice (experiential learning). The whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

70:20:10 also helps us look beyond 'learning' to performance. For example the useful metrics for the '20' and '70' components can ONLY be performance metrics, rather than activity or learning metrics (if the latter actually exist).

I've worked with a lot of organisations that are using 70:20:10 to adapt or construct their learning and workforce capability strategies and actions. Their drivers are many and varied, but invariably include a desire for employee development to have greater impact on personal, team and organisational performance.

If you have a look at my blog you'll find a number of articles about the 70:20:10 approach, such as:

Development Mindsets and 70:20:10

It's only 65%!

Building a Culture of Continuous Learning

70:20:10 - A Framework for High Performance Development Practices

70:20:10 - It's Not About the Numbers. It's All About Change

Through the 70:20:10 Looking Glass

Social and Workplace Learning Through the 70:20:10 Lens

Thank you so much Charles for your helpful advice and links. As with several other of the colleagues in this forum, you have proven that the LSG (and more importantly it's many active members) really is an excellent resource for CPD. Thank you!

Also, a little bit of Googling showed me what a pivotal role you yourself have had in the development of 70:20:10. I feel like I've met someone famous :)


There is a e-learning network event at the end of the month that covers a lot of the subject. It is in London, but theses events are usually very good:





Good call Bob. I just signed-up for the event myself. It's at the De Vere venue at Holborn Bars. I'd recommend it Seth.

Hi Bob,

Thank you for the heads-up about the training day in London. Thanks too, John for seconding Bob's recommendation.

Are you guys planning on going? I see that Charles is speaking there too. How many people are usually at those events do you think, Bob? I might sign up and hope to do some networking, too. I'd like the chance to get to know a few more people in the UK e-learning industry.

Thanks again to everyone for their time and helpful pointers.


I'm going and Charles Jennings is speaking about 70:20:10. Good opportunity to network and maybe also get involved in the ELN. We normally have between 20 and 30 at these events.

Best option is to join the ELN as an organisation (cost £275) then you get two 'free' meeting credits plus 25% off any additional ones. If you just attend one event as a non-member the cost is £195!



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