There are various models which attempt to describe the various contexts in which learning can take place at work. There’s 70:20:10 of course, which places the greatest emphasis on experiential learning (the 70), then social learning (the 20), then formal learning (the 10). Naturally I prefer my own model, as described in my book The New Learning Architect (and written, before you ask, without any exposure to 70:20:10), which defines four contexts: formal (courses), non-formal (other proactive developmental approaches, including on-job instruction, coaching, communities of practice, webinars, conferences, reading, etc.), on-demand and experiential.
Anyway, the point of this post is not to argue about models and both will do for this purpose. What I’m finding is a great deal of confusion amongst learning professionals about the possibilities for including non-formal, on-demand and experiential elements (or the 70 and the 20) within the scope of a formal course (the 10).
As far as I’m concerned, a well-designed blended programme, although primarily a formal intervention, is very likely to cross boundaries into the other contexts. For example, a blend could easily include the following:
- Coaching from a manager or specialist coach (non-formal/20)
- Workshops in a physical or virtual classroom (formal/10)
- E-learning tutorials / scenarios / simulations / serious games (formal/10)
- Use of forums, wikis, blogs, etc. for reflection and discussion (non-formal/20)
- Content contributed by learners (non-formal/20)
- Work assignments (experiential/70)
- Performance support materials (on-demand/70)