8 Important Characteristics Of Millennials: What eLearning Professionals Should Know
We may all come from different backgrounds, and have different talents and skills to bring to the table, but all eLearning professionals can agree that the most important aspect of eLearning course design is learner research. Creating online learning experiences for millennials requires us to explore their traits, so that we are able to custom tailor our eLearning courses to meet their specific needs. Here are a few of the most notable characteristics of this generation:
- Passion with a purpose.
Above all else, millennial learners need a purpose for everything they do. They also take it a step forward by putting all of their passion, enthusiasm, and determination into pursuing that purpose and seeing it through to fruition. As such, every eLearning experience has to have some kind of meaning, regardless of the subject matter. You cannot expect them to simply engage and participate if they don’t know where it’s going to take them or what they are going to get out of the endeavor.
Multitasking may not be physically possible in the truest sense of the word, thanks to the fact that our brains are only hardwired to tackle one task at a time, but millennials will do their very best to do things simultaneously. They simply don’t have enough hours in the day to do everything that is required of them, so they have to juggle numerous situations, appointments, and challenges at once. Though this can boost their productivity at times, it also means that they are often distracted during the eLearning course. This is why it’s essential to encourage goal setting and ask them to stick to a flexible schedule.
- Challenge authority.
Millennials aren’t necessarily rebels, but they do like to challenge the status quo and speak their mind if they think something could be done better or more efficiently. They openly share their thoughts and ideas, even if that means standing up against an authority figure who may think to the contrary. To take care of this trait in eLearning, you must have a solid eLearning feedback system in place that encourages learners to speak up and address their concerns. Likewise, you should also take their opinions into consideration and let them know that they are being heard.
- Tech Gurus.
Millennials were raised with technology. They recognize that social mediα and other tech tools are powerful assets in virtually every aspect of their lives. This generation also loves staying up to date with the latest tech, which means that eLearning professionals must do the same. We have to use social networks, project management platforms, eLearning forums, and any other tech advancement that we can think of to draw in our millennial learners and give them the tech-friendly eLearning that they need to achieve their goals and objectives.
This generation is flexible. They adapt to situations quite easily, thanks to the fact that they acknowledge the importance of change and personal growth. Life is a constant process of evolution for millennials. This is why it’s always wise to offer your millennial learners an eLearning course that changes and evolves with them, rather than a one-size-fits-all eLearning experience. Let them take control of their own learning process by choosing what modules they complete and when, as well as setting personalized goals that center on the subject matter.
- Lifelong learners.
This goes hand-in-hand with their adaptability. Millennial learners are lifelong learners. They understand that leaving school is just the beginning of their educational journey. There are many more learning opportunities to take advantage of, and they relish the thought of expanding their knowledge base and skills. Provide them with supplemental learning resources that they can explore on their own time, which offers them the chance to go beyond the planned eLearning activities and delve into topics that interest them.
- Crave recognition.
Millennials need recognition, praise, and feedback on a regular basis. This isn’t because they aren’t self-assured or lack self-esteem, but because they need to know that their mentors and supervisors are acknowledging their hard work and efforts. They aren’t satisfied with the notion that they’ll get better “one day” or that they can achieve success in the “long run”; they seek self-fulfillment today in both their personal and professional lives. Be sure to praise those who excel and offer constructive one-on-one criticism to those who aren’t giving it their best. You might even consider gamifying the eLearning experience by including badges and leaderboards.
- Unafraid of risks.
While earlier generations may have craved stability and security, millennials prefer to take risks in the hopes of being rewarded. They also are unafraid of taking a risk that may eventually lead to failure or defeat, because they understand that it’s all part of the eLearning experience. Mistakes are nothing more than an opportunity to learn about themselves and grow as individuals. So, give them a chance to explore the repercussions and rewards of their actions by including plenty of eLearning scenarios and simulations. Make them as realistic as possible in order to give your learners the impression that there is some degree of risk involved.
Keep this list of millennial characteristics on hand when creating your next eLearning course to leave a lasting impression on your audience. Also, keep in mind that these traits are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the millennial generation, and each learner has their own unique personality and preferences. As such, target audience research, like surveys and eLearning focus groups, is still of the upmost importance.
Interested in learning more about how to engage your millennial learners? Read the article 8 Tips To Engage And Inspire Millennials In eLearning to discover 8 top tips that you can use to grab their attention, boost their motivation, and make them lifelong learners.