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Seb Anthony

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Retention of learning stats


I'm writing the L&D plan for the year and I would like some stats on retention of learning.

I have found some information on the net, but it seems to be for students e.g. Practice by doing is 75%, lecture 5%

Stats around retention of learning in the classroom etc. would be good.


Sophie Edmond

3 Responses

  1. Retention stats
    You will find all sorts of stats covering memory and learning retention. Please don’t treat the following – which is my favourite version – as statistically valid but more as a signal for what works and in roughly what proportions.

    10% of what we read
    20% of what we hear
    30% of what we see
    50% of what we hear and see
    60% of what we say (repeating what we have heard and seen)
    70% of what we do (practicing what we have heard and seen)
    90% of what we hear, say, see and do

    There is a new book out ‘The Transfer of Learning: Participants’ Perspectives of Adult Education and Training’ by Sarah Leberman, Lex McDonald, and Stephanie Doyle. I have not read it yet but may be worth considering – not for stats but for how to make learning stick and get put into practice, which is a little more involved than recall, or memory, alone.


  2. training & retention stats
    Hi Sophie
    I am away from the office this week so cannot give the figures but the following publications have some interesting stats:
    Accelerated learning – Colin Rose
    Super learning 2000

    Tom Lambert did a research piece while at xerox – cannot remember where it was published – worth looking at his publications

    If you can wait till the end of the week i will look them up and forward the to you.


  3. Detterman & Sternberg
    Hi Sophie,

    Check out the work of Detterman & Sternberg – the search I did on Google used these key words:

    “detterman sternberg transfer of learning”

    Best wishes,



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