A big bowl of gelato, a dollop of whip cream, and a cherry on top. That’s how learning and development specialists understand how workplace learning occurs, at least according to the 70-20-10 Model for Learning.

The 70-20-10 model was developed in the 1980s by researchers from the Center of Creative Leadership, who sought to understand the optimal sources of learning. They surmised that, ideally, 70% of knowledge is picked up through on-the-job experience, 20% through social exchanges of information, and 10% through formal education channels.

The 70-20-10 Model for Learning has been a leading model in enterprise learning and development for decades, a guide for businesses to optimize their learning programs and wisely allocate their training dollars. However, the model is called into question as new, innovative tools expand what’s possible for workplace training. Among these new training tools are all of the media under the XR umbrella — VR, AR, and MR — which ask us to rethink not only the value of each category of learning, but the very nature of the categories themselves.

On-the-job learning meets its biggest competitor (and its best friend)

XR allows us to simulate life-like experiences in safe, risk-free environments. Because of this, a new ingredient is added to the pot, challenging the overwhelming value of on-the-job learning. Now, more than ever, we can provide tailored, experiential learning opportunities to individuals that have a tangible impact on job performance, a compliment to precious time learning new skills on the floor.

VR isn’t just a solo experience — companies can maximize success by complimenting VR with other social and formal training.

To date, experience-based learning was exclusively available through real-life experiences like on-the-job-learning, job shadowing, and one-on-one sessions. Now, for the first time ever, learning and development teams can bring lifelike training experiences to their employees without disrupting the rhythms of everyday business. VR provides a medium in which we can live through tailored experiences, gaining the benefits of real-life experiential learning in a tailored, simulated environment. In fact, well-designed VR reality programs even have the potential to immerse the user enough to build muscle memory and rapidly increase retention and recall.

Businesses that use VR to to simulate on-the-job learning should think of it as a catalyst for workplace learning, not a complete replacement. VR allows trainees to learn a wide variety of relevant, job-related skills, including gaining comfort with potentially dangerous equipment in a safe environment, building confidence through repeated practice, and familiarizing themselves with workplace procedures without wasting company resources and the time of an in-person supervisor. In other words, VR is best suited to complement on-the-job learning by extending easily-accessible, high-impact learning opportunities to employees at a low cost to their employers.

VR transports users to immersive environments, delivering unparalleled opportunities for relevant and impactful learning.

Moving forward: XR (VR, AR, MR) and the future of workplace learning

As XR learning solutions continue to proliferate the training landscape, we expect learning and development specialists will recognize its ability to reshape their idea of the optimal breakdown for enterprise learning.

In the meantime, we’re keeping an eye out for all the ways businesses are taking advantage of the unique superpowers of VR to reinforce, accelerate, and revolutionize their training programs.

Interested in XR’s emerging role in enterprise training or how it could answer your most pressing training challenges? Get in touch with one of our XR experts today!

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