7 Important Characteristics Of Modern Learners eLearning Professionals Should Know

7 Important Characteristics Of Modern Learners eLearning Professionals Should Know
Summary: Modern learners are ambitious. They know how to navigate their way around the virtual terrain, and they thrive in online social environments. But what do we really know about modern learners? More importantly, what are the traits that we should consider when creating online courses for this generation? In this article, you will find 7 important characteristics of modern learners that eLearning professionals should have in mind when designing eLearning courses for them.

Important Characteristics Of Modern Learners 

Every modern learner is unique. Each may come from a different cultural and educational background, but there are also common characteristics that they tend to share. Knowing these characteristics can give eLearning professionals the opportunity to turn eLearning courses into customized eLearning experiences. In this article, I’ll present 7 important characteristics of modern learners eLearning professionals should have in mind when designing eLearning courses for that particular audience.

  1. Easily distracted.
    Modern learners have a lot on their proverbial plates. They are thinking about any number of things at one given time, making it easy to get distracted when they are trying to complete an online course. As eLearning professionals, this can present quite a challenge. However, we can get over this trait hurdle by creating eLearning courses that engage right from the start and hold it all throughout. Ask compelling questions that make them reflect upon the topic. Tell an emotional story that pulls at their heart strings or gets them fascinated about the subject matter. Integrate image and videos that evoke specific feelings, as well as characters with whom they can relate.
  2. Social learners.
    Without a doubt, modern learners are more social than any previous generation. They spend a good portion of their day on social media networks, catching up with friends and reaching out to business contacts. In fact, in many respects, social networking has taken the place of face-to-face communication. Modern learners are more likely to post on a Facebook page or respond to a tweet than make a call. This means that eLearning experiences must be collaborative and social. To cater to your modern learning audience, you have to include online group projects and social learning online experiences via project management platforms and social media sites to adapt to the way students will learn.
  3. Crave constant knowledge.
    This generation of learners demands information anytime and anywhere. If they want to learn more about a topic, they simply hop on their mobile or tablets and find out everything they need to know to satisfy their curiosity. While previous generations had to venture to the nearest library to expand their knowledge, now knowledge is always at the modern learners’ fingertips. In terms of eLearning, we can quench this constant craving for knowledge by giving them supplemental eLearning resources that they can explore on their own. We can provide them with tutorials, walkthroughs that help them in their “moment of need”.
  4. Always on-the-go.
    Your eLearning course must be mobile-friendly. Your learners aren’t going to have the time to sit at home on their PCs and complete online modules on a regular basis, which means that you have to give them learning wherever they are. You can achieve this by choosing a Learning Management System that features a responsive design and automatically detects the learner’s device and offers the optimal display. However, you must also ensure that you don’t overload your learners by presenting too much information at once. Make it easily digestible by offering short bursts of information on a regular basis, such as five minute modules that each covers a specific sub-topic.
  5. Independent.
    Though they thrive in social learning environments, modern learners are also fiercely independent. They aren’t afraid to set out on their own to find the knowledge they need to achieve their goals, even if that means devoting all of their free time to the endeavor. If they aren’t finding the information they are looking for in their online course, then they will simply look elsewhere. They also search for learning experiences that give them control over the process, such as being able to choose when they complete the online modules and the nature of the eLearning activity. For example, some may gravitate toward multimedia-based online courses while others may prefer interactive scenarios. As a result, eLearning pros must design eLearning courses that are customized for each learner by doing thorough audience research and providing many different types of eLearning activities.
  6. Impatient.
    The simple truth is that we live in a busy world where nobody really has the time or patience to sit through a lengthy eLearning course. However, modern learners are particularly impatient. They are so used to getting information at a moment’s notice that you have to grab their attention and manage time effectively, or you run the risk of disengaging them. They know that there is an abundance of information just waiting for them on the internet, so they won’t waste their time with an online course that doesn’t cater to their needs.
  7. Overworked.
    One of the most prevalent traits of modern learners is that they are overworked and overwhelmed. Many carry out a wide variety of job responsibilities, making it difficult to balance their home life with their careers. This means that they don’t have a great deal of energy or effort to devote to eLearning. They are also overwhelmed by the abundance of information that is online today. Give them time to take it all in and look for signs that your learners are actually absorbing the key ideas and able to retain them for future use.

While some modern learners may possess atypical characteristics, many will share these core traits. However, it’s always wise to carry out a detailed learner analysis before designing the eLearning course, just to ensure that the needs of every individual are being considered.

Interested in learning more about how to engage modern learners? Read the article 10 Ways To Shake Up Your Online Classes to really change your student’s thinking by changing the routine way of teaching.