Forbes published a great article recently, regarding the fact that employers might have a biased opinion towards Millennials. It mentions a popular misconception that Millennials are “selfish kids who expect medals for all they do, even for just showing up at their workplace”. Here at Raccoon Gang we cannot agree less, as Millennials are not after medals — they are after challenges, possibilities to learn something new and achievements that add value to what they do.
Same as the previous generations, Millennials need challenges to keep them engaged, need responsibility to build self-confidence and leadership skills, and want to reach success much faster than their parents did. Online learning is an essential tool for this, so Millennials are hungry for eLearning — they just want it delivered in the most appealing, time-efficient and productive way.
eLearning for Millennials must be accessible from mobile devices
Here are some facts from the fresh Pew Research Center study on the evolution of technology usage in the US:
- Around three quarters (77%) of the US population owns mobile phones, with 92% of 18-29 year-olds having a smartphone.
- 51% of US residents surveyed owns tablets
- 88% use the Internet daily
Mobile technology is ubiquitous amongst the Millennials, who prefer using it for all their communication, entertainment and even work. Why should their eLearning be any different? Training presented in a form of mobile-accessible eLearning is the best form of information delivery for Millennials, and this trend is not likely going to change.
Keep in mind what mobile-accessible eLearning should look like in order to be efficient:
- The training must be bite-sized — split into 3-7 minute-long chunks, each covering a single topic. Such division helps comprehend and retain the knowledge in the most efficient way.
- Video is the new text for Millennials, who adore watching videos on YouTube, in social networks, on Netflix and wherever possible. Short explainer videos helps them grasp the idea or concept quickly. Fill the rest of the lesson with important details in form of charts, infographics or graphs — and Millennials will consume it with pleasure, not boredom.
- Being social means being collaborative and resourceful. Enhancing the process of eLearning with communication and collaboration tools, including social media makes the training an engaging journey to explore with friends, not a hard path to endure alone.
Gamification is the key to engaging Millennials in eLearning
Millennials are the generation that experienced digital revolution firsthand. Sony Playstation, Xbox, Nintendo and a whole universe of PC games were one of their ways of training and self-development. Every game is a set of rules the player must follow, choices one must make, actions one must take, skills one must master and goals one must achieve. Doesn’t it sound just like the training program?
Serious games where real-life situations are depicted with the help of drawn characters (fictional, or resembling someone within your organization) present several choices. Solving such challenges helps Millennials (it works for other learners, of course) quickly gain knowledge and skills on various fields of life and business. This is much more engaging and efficient as compared to grinding through blocks of printed data.
Gamification is the other side of the medal. Millennials adore appreciation and feedback, they are thrilled with a possibility to compete, overcome challenges and gain achievements. Leaderboards, badges for various accomplishments, introducing points rewards for various activities – all of this helps keep Millennial learners thrilled, concentrated and learning at the peak of their abilities.
eLearning for Millennials should be interactive and personalized
In order to be efficient, eLearning should be both fun and useful. We talked about fun above, but usefulness is even more important. The training should be concise, devote 10% of time to theory, 80% to practice and 10% to efficiency analysis. Such approach to learning helps quickly develop the skills that can be used at once.
Deploy branching scenarios based on a real-world problem, so it evokes certain emotions in the learners. Such challenges force Millennials to develop and use problem solving skills and take on the leadership responsibilities, which is essential for becoming more proficient at accomplishing their work tasks and advancing their career or leading their startup to success.
The world Millennials are living in is the world of interactivity. Their watches, fridges, earbuds, even shoes are interactive. So should be the courses they pass. Make the training concise, let the learners make the decisions and overcome challenges — and it will be exactly what they came for. Millennials will come back for more and will bring their friends and colleagues with them, as learning with friendly competition is the best scenario.
We hope using and combining these 3 approaches helps develop engaging and useful online training Millennial learners will adore. Would you like to add some points? We always appreciate the feedback!