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How To Justify the Expense of L&D – Nick Howe, CLO from Area9 Learning, tells it like it is and we love it! He hits on two key elements that we personally feel should have more time devoted within L&D:


We all know the statistics about how much training is forgotten by the second day. It’s nearly 70%! And most of us know that the solution to this forgetting curve is to provide spaced reinforcement. However, if we can’t get buy-in for necessary reinforcement, then we will ultimately have a much harder time of proving our worth to the C-Suite. Seems like a Catch-22.

How To Justify the Expense of L&D – Here at Sage Media we are HUGE advocates of the AGES Model – which expands upon spaced learning principles while also introducing some tools to leverage neuro-cognitive engagement.


Providing proof that a learner completed a course gives us ZERO insight into the overall success of the training from a Level 2, 3, or 4 standpoint. Proving Competence and Confidence is what our stakeholders are looking for, and we need to focus on metrics that provide them with that data.

That said, there is a ton of great information that can come from Level 1 evaluation surveys, also known as “smile sheets.” The key is to generate those surveys in such a way that the questions provide us with usable data. A great book on how to get more data out of these evaluations is “Performance-Focused Smile Sheets: A Radical Rethinking of a Dangerous Art Form” by Will Thalheimer, PhD.

…Tell him Sage Media sent ya.

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Nick Howe:        The global learning industry is about a $300 billion business. Most of that 300 billion is currently being wasted, and there’s a couple of very simple reasons for that. One is, we all know that training is not a one-time event. If you are not doing reinforcement, the likelihood is that whatever you teach is going to get forgotten. The statistics say 70% of what you learn you will forget within one day. So if you’re not doing reinforcement, why the hell are you even teaching it in the first place? Even if you put effective teaching in place, if you have adaptive learning, things that can really make a difference to each and every individual, 92% of business leaders don’t see the value of training.

I think, again, part of that is because we focus on the things that historically we’ve been able to measure, completion. Who cares whether someone completed a course or not? Don’t you care whether they can do their job? If you implement, I suppose, what you’d call state-of-the-art approaches, but approaches which are very accessible to all of us today in the L&D industry, we can actually measure competence and confidence and then use those measures to truly demonstrate that we are making a difference to the business and giving those business leaders confidence that the learning function truly does add value to the business and isn’t some cost center that can be cut with the first opportunity.