Organisational Change Management Volume 2

9. The Learning Hierarchy

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An important element is linked with the learning is the average retention rate. After 24 hours the average retention rates are

. Lectures (5%)

. Reading (10%)

. Audio-visual (20%)

. Demonstration (30%)

. Discussion group (50%)

. Practise by doing (75%)

. Teach others/immediate use (90%)

(source: Peter Orford, 2006)

This stresses the impact of experiential learning (learning by doing)on the memory retention rate. At the same time, remember:

"...Experiential learning evoked strong emotions - resistance, fury, hostility, hurt - it doesn't let you escape into intellectualisation or denial..."

Amanda Sinclair, 2004a

Student learning concepts are transferable into the workplace
Even though the below applies to students in the education system, most messages are applicable to the workplace (see below table), ie evidence-based, data-driven research has identified strategies that will encourage learning in the education system and thus the workplace; those relevant to the workplace include
- meta-cognition & self-regulation (setting goals and taking responsibility for learning, ie think about how you learn, set your goals and take responsibility for achieving them - for more detail see multi-intelligence, goal setting, performance management, etc)
- feedback (must be specific, accurate and clear with guidance on how to improve for each person; sometime called informative assessment, ie assessment is integrated into the learning and is continuous (students are observed as they interact, their knowledge of each topic and strength of their learning skills including concentration span and communication ability is judged as they learn) as opposed to summative assessment, eg examinations at the end - for more detail see feedback, performance management, etc)
- comprehension (techniques to improve reading - for more detail see multiple intelligence)
- collaboration  (small groups working on tasks with everyone participating - for more detail see teams)
- home work (should relate closely to learning, ie specific projects need to be integrated with what is going on elsewhere in the organisation/school and include quality feedback)
- mastery learning (understanding one thing before moving on to the next - for more detail see the way we learn)
- peer tutoring (people tutor each other with benefits to both - for more detail see mentoring, executive coaching, etc)
- social learning (training to improve social relationships and attitudes - for more detail see EQ, SQ, etc)
- behaviour intervention (handling problems like violence, bullying, drug use, etc - for more detail see desirability of behaviours, values, etc)
NB In the education system, the above strategies are relatively cheap to implement and when used successfully are able to push students months ahead in their learning
Strategies that do not work include performance pay (paying staff based on outcomes)
The comments on the above strategies which are robust and proven ways of proving learning, are all relevant to the workplace.

organisational development change management

Educational research is showing that explicit teaching methods are the most effective for learning new concepts and skills, compared with discovery learning or enquiry-based teaching approaches.  Explicit learning is not the traditional way of teaching, ie passive, lecture-style lessons.  It is highly interactive, highly structured and carefully sequenced, with a lot of guidance and practice to ensure understanding.
"... A key difference between explicit teaching and other methods is that through careful planning of the sequence of content and skill development, and systematic monitoring of knowledge and understanding, this teaching reduces the risk of children slipping through the is a high-stakes profession.  Low educational attainment dissociated with unemployment, low income, poor physical and mental health, and crime.  Low literacy has an especially strong relationship with these problems..."
Jennifer Buckingham, 2016

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