3 Ways to Engage Millennial Learners + Train on Their Level

Lisa Ekern
Posted: June 24, 2016

Millennial learners are those young professionals born in the years from the early 1980s through the early 2000s. The Millennials were raised in an era of instant access and gratification. They often communicate through multi-media, text and instant messaging and are said to have a relatively short attention span.

Engage and train millennial learners with these 3 tips and techniques that will encourage higher success.

When designing training for Millennials, it’s our responsibility as learning professionals, to keep the following in mind:

  • Grab their attention.

  • Engage them on their level.

  • Use technology they enjoy in everyday life.

Attention Grabbers: If Millennials are not interested in the learning, their attention may shift quickly elsewhere. Strive to capture their attention by conveying key learning points with strong visuals and images, along with audio, animations and avatars.

Engage the Learner: Millennials have grown up being able to Google® anything they want to know. Listening to a long lecture or reading a web-based lesson may not be engaging. When designing your course, create activities that allow the learner to research information on his or her own and share with the group. You might have the class create a Facebook® discussion board for posting their answers.

Tech-Savvy Learning: Millennials are comfortable with many different tech-savvy forms of communication. For that reason, training should also be tech-savvy. A few options to consider as you design your next course include:

Mobile learning: Millennials can be reached on desktops and laptops, but mobile adds an interesting new twist to learning. Think about ways to incorporate the use of a mobile device in your next course.

Gaming: Why not create different games to convey key learning points? Recently I viewed a training in which someone used a PowerPoint® with pictures of cards and hyperlinks to review key concepts. It was simple but fun and different. Also, you can create different scenarios that allow the Millennial to choose the next step in the process.  With each scenario chosen, you could then share the overall impact to the organization. This allows the Millennials to see how their choices affect the organization.

Video-based learning: Millennials have been raised in a video-centric culture. Videos are everywhere they look; television, YouTube®, Facebook® and Twitter®.  You can create short video bursts and play them as part of the overall learning initiative. If your organization has a help tool, you can tag and load the video so that Millennials can search for and locate a video on a needed topic. You’ll once again be communicating with them using a familiar modality.

Inspire and engage Millennials in learning by understanding their needs and using modalities to which they regularly relate. You’ll provide wonderful opportunities that let them blossom into the leaders of tomorrow.


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