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Engaging Millennials Through mLearning


October 22, 2019



Engaging Millennials Through mLearning

Millennials or Generation Y are people born between 1982 and 2000. This is a generation that grew up fiddling with gadgets and video games. They love to express themselves in the shortest available use of words.

Since millennials think differently from Baby Boomers, it is imperative that training also needs to revamp to engage their attention with interactive content.

But why must an organization’s focus on Millennials?

Here is some data to back this perspective:

  • They account for nearly 31.5% of the global population.
  • They have a limited attention span of 12 seconds (for an advertisement).
  • Their social media preferences are Facebook and Twitter while information is sourced predominately from online resources.
  • They prefer a work culture where the emphasis is on collaboration rather than individual contribution.

Before engaging millennials, your first needs to understand their basic characteristics:

Technology-savvy generation
Millennials are more comfortable with technology than the previous generations. Therefore, sub-standard content packaged attractively with photos, interactivity, and graphics, will not work for them. Being accustomed to various social media and tools, they expect the content to be engaging and interactive. The tone of the course is expected to be friendly rather than patronizing.

Bring-your-own-device generation
Millennials are very social and tend to come from a culture where content is consumed almost 18-hours-a-day. They expect to be able to work anytime, anywhere, and on multiple devices. Hence, you need to ensure that the courses are always accessible to them.

Exploring and lifelong learning
Millennials have been through school and college where learning was all about sitting through tedious, long lectures. They now seek adventure. Therefore, mLearning courses need to be designed in a way that gets them hooked to the course and offers them an opportunity to interact and explore.

Relevance and fulfilment 
The biggest challenge in creating mLearning courses is to provide the relevant content in the quickest possible time. They expect the course to provide instant knowledge that will help them complete a task at the point of need. If they are unconvinced with the content and relevance of the course, they will move away.

Constant feedback
Millennials have been brought up in a culture where individual attention has been bestowed for their efforts. So, it becomes important to provide constant feedback to them on the progress made and if they have met the goals. Providing continuous feedback will motivate them to complete the course.

Bite-sized learning
Millennials are used to multitasking and, therefore, have very little for the average 6-minute eLearning courses. mLearning can be effectively utilized to offer formal training as well as point-in-need support, albeit in bite-sizes of 3 to 5 minutes. The content ideally should be presented as animations, videos, simulations, or games.

Videos hold the key
Studies have shown that videos are more effective in delivering knowledge-based training. A recent study by Wainhouse Research (WR) showed that 90% of the 1,800 surveyed employees felt on-demand videos were effective for communicating work- and task-related information.

Use of gamification
Millennials, unlike the earlier generation, feel it is good to mix work and play. It is little wonder that they seek a job that is fun, creative, and training that is informative and engaging. Corporates have begun to use this trait by including gamification strategies in their training. This training, mimic real workplaces by introducing stories and allowing the players to learn rules, meeting goals and responding to challenges along the way. The training provides gaming scores which are nothing but on-the-spot feedback. The idea is to come up with a game that will motivate millennials to apply the knowledge learned in the workplace.

Collaborative learning methods
Millennials live in a world of networking. It is best then to utilize this trait to create online discussions forums to exchange ideas on upskilling. We can leverage mLearning to encourage collaborative activities to keep them engaged and improve their productivity. Learning badges can then be shared on social media since millennials take social media recognition very seriously.

Millennials are not too different from the other learners. The only difference is that they are comfortable with technology. Hence, corporates must be willing to leverage this trait and utilize it for millennial’s learning activities.

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Guest Author Daniel Brown

Daniel Brown is a senior technical editor and writer that has worked in the education and technology sectors for two decades. Their background experience includes curriculum development and course book creation.

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