From an email exchange with Richard E. Clark on August 13 2011 about 70:20:10
The claims you describe are BS – a fantasy. (abt: 70-20-10)
We do have evidence about how much someone learns from a well designed training course in an organization (measured by how much more they know after training than they did before training) and that number is about 20%. The citation for the review is:
Arthur, W. R. Jr, Bennett, W. Jr, Edens, P. S. and Berll. S. T. (2003). Effectiveness of training in organizations: A meta analysis of design and evaluation features. Journal of Applied Psychology, 88(2), 234-245.
They found an average increase of 20.62% in learning (Kirkpatrick level two) in published studies. The report is attached. I used the term “well designed” because people do not publish training studies that fail to get solid results or those that fail period. So the published studies are the tip of a big iceberg that hides a significant percentage of failures. If those were averaged into the percentage we’d be deeply embarrassed at what we’ve accomplished.
No one has reviewed controlled studies of learning from mentoring that I’ve seen and I’ve looked.
No one has studied learning on the job in any systematic way and published the results.
So the only solid evidence we have right now is that the average gain from training in organizations (summarized over the past two decades) is about 20%. And we do not know what it is about those more successful training courses that made a difference. The meta analysis is not helpful in identifying what works only how much it works on average.
Dick will be one of the Keynote Speakers at ISPI’s 50th Anniversary Conference in Toronto in April 2012.
For more about that Keynote – please go here.
For more on that Conference – please go here.
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