Learning is more fun with a buddy

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Learning Buddy Card

Our workshop participants won’t learn most of what they need to know from us. Hard to imagine, but it is true. The prevailing wisdom of 70/20/10 — 70% is learned on the job, 20% in interactions with others, and 10% in classrooms– rings true as I check back with people who were fired up to change their practice just one month ago. As one wrote yesterday, “Thank you for keeping us on track… so sorry I seemed to have dropped the ball.”

How do we help them hold on to the ball? How do we grab some of that 20% of learning that comes from peer engagement? One thought is to create learning buddies when we have them. Give them a way to exchange contact information with someone in the room and commit to meeting within 30 days. What will they talk about?  How about:

  • What is your goal?
  • What progress have you made?
  • What more do you need to do, get, or find to achieve your goal?

I set up learning buddies at a training on October 29. I asked them tell me who the matches were so that I could give them a 30 day reminder. That’s how I know this person dropped the ball.  And that is how I was able to find out what they needed to make Saturday’s board retreat go well, which I promptly sent with instructions. Does that mean I got into the 70% of learning that happens when we are faced with a real situation?  I’m not sure, but I was able to help one board get to action, which was my ultimate goal anyway.

 

Published by Nancy

I am a teacher, instructional designer, and nonprofit practitioner. Since 1996, I have worked at the intersection of learning and nonprofit leadership. A former middle school ESL teacher, I have created and delivered learning programs for K-12 teachers and students, Afro-Brazilian women in Salvador, Brazil, and nonprofit people from across Washington.

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