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Next Generation Professional Training: What’s On


ELearning creators have been working hard to ensure that the training they design and deliver meets the unique needs of Millennials. However, if they take a step back, they may notice something quite important. The youngest millennials are graduating from college. The oldest are now thinking about what they should do to celebrate their 40th birthdays.

It may be time to focus elearning strategy on members of generation Z. After all, in the next couple of years, they will be the ones undergoing entry level training at corporate offices, sitting in on seminars and presentations, and otherwise working their way through eLearning material. In order to do this effectively, training must be effectively designed and delivered.

BYOD Will be Embraced in The Training Room

Rows of computers in the training room will become a thing of the past. Millennials have a preference for using their own devices. Gen Y virtually insists on it. Yes, it is tempting to define this as entitled. Undoubtedly boomers and many millennials will grumble about this.

However, effective educators focus on results. The next generation will learn better if they are allowed to use devices that they are comfortable with.

Training Materials Will Contain Fewer Stereotypes And Become  More Inclusive

This generation values social awareness both on a micro and a macro level. They are pointedly aware of unfair stereotypes and exclusivity. There is definitely some crossover here as many millennials feel the same way, however it is more the norm for the Homeland generation to notice and react to stereotypes in training materials.

This is a generation that is aware of the impacts of exclusionary language, and that is used to challenging stereotypes when they become apparent. Learning materials will include diverse examples and used appropriate pronouns.

Learning Will Track Seamlessly Across Devices And Locations

There is a good chance that members of the next generation won’t be tied to a desk. They will be on the go, and will need courses that accommodate this. The most successful courses will be those that are flexible, and can be accessed and used anywhere and from any device.

Picture a student in a training class at work. This is probably the most traditional example of elearning. Now picture the same student taking the train home, and using their smartphone to access the class’s app to quiz themselves on what they’ve learned so far. When they get home, the student might lounge in front of the television with their tablet and complete a chapter or two of the material before going to bed.

Customer Experience Will Become Key

The new generation of learners has very high expectations. Course design is of utmost importance. So is technical performance. They want an educational experience that is well designed and ‘glitch’ free. Course materials, eLearning websites, etc. must be professional looking and well designed. For an example of this, check out Both aesthetics and performance will matter.

Peer Training And Education Will Be Encouraged

Both millennials and members of generation Z have one thing in common. They tend to hold the thoughts and opinions of their peers in high regard. This includes frequently identifying ‘experts’ within their peer group. Because of this, they often seek education and advice from their contemporaries.

Good trainers will facilitate this. They will encourage students to connect with one another to discuss the topic being learned. They will identify students who have shown a strong understanding of the material, and encourage them to reach out to other students. They will create student forums and communities to encourage learning and communication outside of class time.

Training Will Use The Types of Content That Students Find Engaging

Elearning courses will use streaming video, slide shows, decks, and other content formats that the next generation of learners finds engaging. It will adopt the social media platforms that students are now using such as SnapChat and Instagram. Course developers will find ways to use augmented reality and virtual reality to enhance learning, keep students engaged, and to provide a higher quality learning experience.

Micro Units Will Be Embraced

This is a multi tasking low attention span generation of learners. In order to make their learning initiatives more successful, instructors and course developers will step away from the chapter, unit, course model. Instead, they will focus on identifying skills and concepts to be taught. Then, they will create small micro units of instruction that will focus breaking these concepts into small chunks and delivering instruction in small doses.

When Possible Choice in Learning Should Be an Option

This is a very self-aware generation. These are, and will be, students who know  how they learn best. Because of this, providing choices whenever possible should be strongly encouraged. How this can be implemented will depend on the material to be mastered as well as the needs of the organization.

For example, regulatory training may need to be delivered in a formal setting, with a certified instructor, and may need to be followed up with approved instruments to measure mastery of the subject matter. On the other hand, there are plenty of scenarios where students might be able to select how and where they undergo training.

A company might give trainees the option of taking a self paced course over the course of two weeks. They could also provide the option of attending a training seminar for a day. Whatever the case may be, providing options while also ensuring accountability and outcomes may be best for learners in the upcoming generation.

Managing Cost Will Be an Important Consideration

While millennials often freely spend their money, the new generation does not. They are  more likely to search for bargains, and to question whether or not products or services are worth the cost. They also place a lot of value on their own time.

Because of this, training in the future won’t contain a lot of fat. It will be lean, delivered efficiently, and will have a reasonable price both in terms of financial cost and time. Further, instructors will be clear when it comes to identifying the reason for the training as well as the value of the training to the student.

What’s on with  next generation training? There are several things to keep in mind. There are many similarities between this generation and the next. However, there are also stark differences. The new generation has even higher expectations of quality. They are cost conscious. They crave courses that accommodate an on the go lifestyle. The next generation of training will work across multiple devices, it will be well designed in order to deliver a great  user experience to students, and will encourage the development of peer to peer learning opportunities.

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