Gen Z eLearning Blueprint: A Handbook For L&D Managers

Gen Z eLearning Blueprint: A Handbook For L&D Managers
Olena Yakobchuk/
Summary: Want to make the most of your enthusiastic and promising Gen Z workforce? Well, you need to upskill and reskill them to be on par with the current business trends. Read on to get tips on designing eLearning that best suits your Gen Z workforce.

eLearning For Gen Z? What L&D Teams Must Consider

Have you hired a bunch of young Gen Zers and are looking for ways to train them efficiently? Well, you are not alone. In a world of rapid technological advancements and fast-evolving business trends, corporate Learning and Development needs to keep up to stay relevant. Enterprises have realized the power of building a learning culture in their organization and are constantly making efforts to upkeep their learning strategies. Traditional classroom training has taken a back seat, and eLearning is the new cool. Gradually, with Gen Zers becoming a significant percentage of the global workforce, it's time to revisit the eLearning design and development approach and give it a much-needed makeover. Read this article to know what L&D managers should consider when designing eLearning for Gen Z.

What Makes Gen Zers Different From Others?

Born after the late 1990s and before the early 2010s, Gen Z is the most dynamic generation to ever exist. According to studies, Gen Z and millennials will make up approximately 58% of the global workforce by 2030. It is important to understand the characteristics that set them apart from other generations and chalk out a foolproof training strategy to upkeep them and ensure success in this dynamic business environment.

Here are a few characteristics of Gen Zers that will help you design eLearning that best suits your modern workforce.

Characteristics of Gen Z learners

  • They are digital natives

Gen Zers have never been in a world sans the internet, so no wonder they are drawn to technology. They love fiddling with modern electronic gadgets and spend much time browsing the internet to quench their quest for constant learning.

  • They have short attention spans

These next-gen learners have an attention span of a mere eight seconds. They want everything at the speed of light and get frustrated when things get slow or stagnant. It is a task to grab and retain their attention for longer spans. So, plan for bite-sized learning to ensure better completion rates.

  • They are practical

Gen Zers have a practical approach to life. They look for "what's in it for them" for everything they invest their time and efforts into. They love to get involved in learning rather than merely going through lengthy pieces of boring content.

  • They are diverse and dynamic

Gen Zers are dynamic and love versatility. Binding them to stereotypical learning formats can discourage them and curb their productivity. Trying out multiple learning formats to deliver the concept can certainly keep them motivated and boost learning.

  • They are always on the go

Pressed against time, Gen Z are always on the go. Thanks to today's fast-paced world, where speed is crucial to succeed, Gen Zers are adaptable and flexible and expect the same when it comes to learning. Self-paced learning that has multiplatform accessibility goes well with the Gen Z mindset.

5 Key Points To Consider While Designing eLearning For Gen Z Learners

Crafting eLearning for Gen Zers needs well-thought-out action plans, as they are very different from the previous generations and are driven by a set of unique motivational factors. Considering the characteristics mentioned in the earlier section, you can follow the following learning strategies to design a training program for your next-gen learners.

1. Looks Do Matter — Focus On The Visual Appeal Of Your eLearning Courses

Gen Zers cannot imagine a world without technology and are surrounded by screens, big and small. This means if you want to create an immersive learning experience for them, you need to work on the visual appeal of your eLearning courses. Lengthy learning modules with text-heavy slides will not get you far with Gen Z. Ensure your eLearning courses are engaging enough with powerful interactivities that facilitate learner participation. Also, focus on the color theme of your courses to add spark to the content. Investing in a Learning Management System (LMS) that is well organized, has an intuitive and visually appealing interface, and offers simple and easy navigation is a smart move to garner learner attention.

2. Short And Snappy Is The New Cool — Go The Microlearning Way

Your Gen Z workforce has an attention span that's even shorter than that of a goldfish. Whew! They are habituated to consuming content that's short and snappy, be it on social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter, or news apps like Inshorts. It is obvious that they would prefer their learning content, too, in quick, digestible bites. Microlearning is the way to go. This learning format can break your lengthy eLearning modules into short and interesting microlearning modules that your next-gen learners would love. Microlearning allows you to present your content in various catchy formats, like videos, interactive PDFs, podcasts, digital flashcards, infographics, and more. Your learners can finish these quick microlearning lessons during work breaks or commutes, without disrupting the workflow—a win-win for enterprises and learners.

3. Gen Zers Value Communication And Collaboration — Encourage Social Learning

Gen Z love networking and value communication and collaboration. Rather than attending hours-long online courses, they prefer community learning. It's not surprising to find them on platforms like Quora, Reddit, or YouTube quenching their quest. It is thus a great idea to encourage social learning to tap into their inclination toward staying connected. Offer your Gen Z learners opportunities to collaborate through online learning forums, chatrooms, and group discussions. Cross-training programs can also be implemented to enable peer-to-peer learning.

4. Create Immersive Learning Experiences — Gamify Your eLearning

Games add a fun element to your eLearning courses and captivate today's youth. Adding game elements like points, scores, levels, and badges to your eLearning modules motivates learners to actively engage with the content. The display of top performers on the leaderboards instills healthy competition and boosts active participation. This creates a stickier learning experience and ensures high retention of the concepts learned. Enhancing your eLearning courses with VR-based gamification elements can lead to an immersive learning experience and boost learning manifold.

5. Flexibility And Freedom Is Their Top Priority — Accommodate Mobile Learning

Imagine a scene inside the metro, a bus, a train, or even on the street. You will find most of the young generation glued to their mobile phones. No wonder mobile learning is making its way into the realm of corporate training. On top of that, given the work pressure in this competitive world and the constant struggle to achieve work-life harmony, everyone is pressed against time. We can't expect the aspirational and dynamic Gen Z to carve out time for long hours of training. Offer them the flexibility of self-paced learning by implementing mobile learning so that they can access training material at their convenience on their device of choice. Ensure your eLearning courses are responsive and facilitate learning on the go.

The Way Ahead

Gen Z are the population that will dominate the future workforce across the globe. It is important to understand their distinct learning needs and preferences to upskill and reskill them to build a robust workforce that stands out from the competition. It is important for companies to keep a check on the recent L&D trends and offer a training program that helps their Gen Z workforce stay relevant to the dynamic business needs. I am sure you are already using a few of the learning formats discussed above to train your next-gen learners. And if not, give it a try.

eBook Release: CommLab India
CommLab India
We partner with you from design to development & delivery to offer holistic, rapid eLearning solutions. Since 2000, we help companies convert classroom training to custom eLearning, blended learning with ILT, VILT, microlearning, videos, LMS, & more.