Guest Blog by John Kleeman - SharePoint: 9, Formal Training: 1

I'm John Kleeman, Chairman of Questionmark, and in this guest blog entry, I'd like to share a liberating idea that is sweeping the world of corporate learning.

Once upon a time, if you needed to learn a task, you embarked on a formal training course, learned the new skill or knowledge and came back to your job to apply it. Formal training still has an important place, but with the Internet age, knowledge workers are expected to learn new things more often and more easily and there are new ways of learning. Increasingly, businesses understand that learning and development really works most effectively in a 70+20+10 model:

The 70+20+10 model 

In the 70+20+10 model (see here for a deeper explanation by Eric Shepherd), we recognize that in real life:

  • 70% of learning comes from "Experience" and doing  real life and on-the-job experiences
  • 20% of learning comes from "Others"  feedback, observing, listening, and working with others
  • 10% of learning looks back from "Study"  formal learning and training

If you look back at what you've learned in the last year, you might find this model applies to what you've learned. If not, I'd encourage you to think about your own learning in this way, as it's very empowering  you learn every day and are in control. Don't get too stuck on the precise numbers  it might be 60% rather than 70%, or 20% rather than 10%, but it's the idea that counts.

You might well be thinking, "What's this got to do with SharePoint?"

Well, in organizations with SharePoint deployed (which is most corporations nowadays), SharePoint is a key place in which much of the 90% of learning that is not formal learning happens.

Learning by experience and doing may happen in SharePoint or outside it depending on what your job role is, but SharePoint's enterprise search  the window into the rest of the organization's resources is a huge boon for this learning.

Where SharePoint really makes a difference is in learning through others. SharePoint's social capabilities  blogs, wikis, discussion threads, and the new social features to rate pages, tag information, and find expert colleagues  enable huge amounts of informal learning to occur in any organization with a well-filled SharePoint system. With SharePoint 2007, much of this was possible, if clunky, but with SharePoint 2010, it's much more engaging  and learning from others can really take place effectively.

My title is a bit tongue in cheek. SharePoint is just one of the ways informal learning happens, albeit one of the most important in the enterprise. But I hope you enjoyed this introduction to SharePoint and 70+20+10.

If you want to learn more about SharePoint's role in learning, education, training, and compliance, please check out my SharePoint and Assessment blog. If you're interested in using assessments (tests, quizzes, surveys, and exams) in your SharePoint system, read Questionmark's whitepaper, Learning and Assessment on SharePoint (free with registration).


Posted Sep 19 2011, 09:00 AM by John Kleeman

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About John Kleeman

I am the founder of Questionmark. I wrote the first version of the Questionmark assessment software system and founded Questionmark in 1988 to market, develop and support it. These days I am Questionmark Chairman. I have a degree from Trinity College, Cambridge, and am a Member of the British Computer Society and a Chartered Engineer. Having been involved in assessment software for more than 20 years; I have participated in several standards initiatives and was one of the original team who created IMS QTI. I also gathered valuable experience being the instigator and chairman of the panel that produced the British Standard BS 7988, which has now become ISO 23988.

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