Staff Development…Finding the Right Blend

A blended learning approach tied to your identified training needs has been found to be the most effective in teaching and increasing learner retention


Classroom versus online education? Outsource versus in-house development? Audio conferencing,? Web conferencing? Video conferencing? What’s the right solution for training your staff?

The answer could be all of the above. A blended learning approach tied to your identified training needs has been found to be the most effective in teaching and increasing learner retention. Consider the statistics:

We remember:

10% of what we READ—Manual-based training, while self-directed, results in the lowest retention.

20% of what we HEAR—Many people are auditory learners…they learn best by hearing, but still the retention from audio alone is small.

30% of what we SEE—Visual learners still only retrain 30% of what they see.

50% of what we SEE & HEAR—Combining learning styles, such as visual with audio, increases retention.

80% of what we SAY—You realize a large jump in retention of learning when the learner verbalizes the content.

90% of what we SAY as we ACT –Combine verbalization with doing, such as in conducting role plays, and you maximize retention.

And when it comes to methods of instruction:

Telling only

70% recall information three hours later
10% recall information three days later

Showing only

72% recall three hours later
20% recall three days later

Showing & Telling (Blended)

85% recall three hours later
65% recall three days later

To perform effectively, users of any new application need information that can reside in a variety of places in the organization. To deliver that information at the right time, right place, and in the right form, a blended approach is needed. How do you determine and develop a blended approach to staff development?

The key components of a blended human performance solution include:

Learning – information stored in personal memory delivered through traditional classroom training, eLearning, coaching, on-the-job training

Performance Support – information not stored in memory, but available for reference, delivered through electronic performance support, job aids, work instructions, etc.

Knowledge Management – information stored in other peoples’ memories accessed through web boards, discussion threads, collaboration spaces, knowledge object repositories

When determining the best approach for training delivery, consider how adults learn. Begin to incorporate components of a blended learning environment by evaluating the most effective training methods. If the content or focus of your training is behavioral or attitudinal in nature, which tends to be more abstract, the classroom environment best lends itself to retention of this type of material. If you’re teaching cognitive or concrete skills, online learning is very effective.

Additionally, consider your credit union’s strategic goals, training objectives, and resources. What are you trying to accomplish? Do you want to…

  • create deep or consistent learning while reducing the cost of training? (less travel, less time off the job)?
  • enhance student retention while shortening time to competency (less class time, fewer on-the-job errors)?
  • synchronize business practices (build consistency throughout the organization/branch network)?
  • facilitate change management (increase organizational readiness or adoption)?

By considering your audience, the nature of the training that needs to take place and ultimately your overall strategic and training plan, you will be well armed to design a blended training solution that meets all of your goals.

MyDAS, Inc., a Liberty company, is a full service consultation firm providing solutions for staff and member education, MySTERY Shopping and other research and survey solutions, as well as full marketing agency services. Serving the industry for over 20 years, find out why the best and the brightest select MyDAS for results. For more information, visit, or call us at 800-291-6117.



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April 4, 2005


  • What a tease! I expected to read about blended learning (stand up training v. web-based v. computer based v. printed material)... not some 1st-year psych statistics about learning types.
  • ALL OLD NEWS. She's totally missing the role of the supervisor in setting expectations BEFORE training and correcting any behavior that doesn't meat those expectations AFTER. It's got to be about changing the Autopilot of that Employee's Behavior or the ROI on training is near $0.