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I recently attended the CEdMA Europe conference in Bristol, United Kingdom where a large number of European IT training professionals gathered to discuss the implications and challenges of applying social learning in technical IT training.

Among the keynote speakers was Charles Jennings, a renowned expert for the 70:20:10 learning model. The model, in a nutshell, breaks down the ways in which people typically learn:

  • 10% through formal learning
  • 20% through other people
  • 70% through experience and practice

Follow this link for a short video summary of the 70:20:10 model.

The key challenge any learner and learning professional unfortunately have to face is that 50% of what we learn in formal training we will forget within one hour unless we practice and apply our knowledge. This is also referred to as the forgetting curve, established by Hermann Ebbinghaus already 129 years ago.

The Ebbinghaus work, plus a number of follow-up studies, indicate that we quickly forget much of what we learn in formal training away from our workplace. Ebbinghaus' study suggested the figure was 50% within an hour. Others have suggested other rates of forgetting. The point is that if we don't have the opportunity to use the knowledge we acquire we will forget it very quickly.

Yet many organizations focus primarily on formal learning and assume in many cases that employees will be equipped to do their jobs better after a training course.  Even if practice is part of formal learning the challenge for everyone is to recall knowledge as and when it is required on the job to perform certain tasks.

Social learning has recently received a lot of attention as a means of bridging the gap from formal learning to informal and on the job learning. Social learning can provide opportunities to access learning content anytime, anywhere and more importantly access to trainers and experts to engage with and ask questions relating to specific learning questions.

SAP Education was asked to present at the CEdMA Europe conference about SAP’s social learning offering within SAP Learning Hub, the so-called learning rooms based on SAP Jam. We shared with the conference participants how we created and implemented the social learning component in SAP Learning Hub at the beginning of 2014 to better address the learning needs of our busy target audience, SAP experts that are typically on the road or with clients a lot of their times and have little time for formal learning.

One of the main focus areas for SAP Education when creating learning rooms was the ability for these busy consultants, key users or project team members to engage with our experienced instructors by asking questions or receiving support to achieve their learning objectives. Learning rooms provide curated learning paths in which the an SAP experts provide context and additional knowledge resources such as videos, blogs or whitepapers in addition to the formal training courses contained in SAP Learning Hub.

More importantly with learning rooms, learners can ask SAP experts questions as they proceed along their learning path within their busy day-to-day jobs. Additionally they can participate in scheduled live sessions to follow presentations and discussions around specific concepts or SAP solutions. See a short demo of learning rooms here.

SAP is one of the first large-scale adopters in the IT industry of this informal learning method as acknowledged by recent industry awards for SAP Learning Hub (please see the following SCN blog posts on the Brandon Hall award and TSIA Award) and it is certainly a big step forward to better address the 90% of our learners’ informal and on the job learning needs. However, the journey has just begun and we, as much as any other learning focused organization, are looking constantly at ways of improving the skillset of our ecosystem. We will continue to evolve our learning room offering within SAP Learning Hub to provide greater value, higher live interactivity and modular learning content that is easy to consume.

However, tools and content are just a way to support informal learning as Charles Jennings states in his video of the 70:20:10 model. The real value comes from the interaction and engagement of everyone within the learning community.

We would therefore like to provide you with the opportunity to get started on learning rooms with SAP Learning Hub and show you the value of getting engaged, now.

SAP Education is holding a webinar on Tuesday, December 16th where we will explain in more detail about learning rooms on SAP Learning Hub.  To register, simply click here.