Designing Effective Training Programs for Adult Learners from the Millennial Generation

Designing Effective Training Programs for Adult Learners from the Millennial GenerationDesigning Effective Training Programs for Adult Learners from the Millennial Generation

There are many factors to consider when designing effective training programs for adult learners from the millennial generation. Members of each generation have specific needs and expectations based on their background and experiences. Obviously, you need to conduct an individual training needs assessment of each adult learner rather than assume that certain characteristics apply to everyone in a given age group.

For members of the Millennial Generation (1981-2000), the following are general aspects of their generational period that may define what they need, want and expect in an adult learning environment. Never forget that each individual is unique and these are general characteristics related to the generation.

  • They grew up with computers and technology.
  • Their brains often move at a rapid pace with shorter attention spans when faced with tedious tasks (due to exposure to rapid-moving technology).
  • Desire training delivered at a fast pace.
  • Prefer learner engagement activities through multi-media, individual and group activity and a variety of learning strategies in training.
  • Often take an informal approach to many things.
  • I want challenging and meaningful tasks.
  • Often question things out of a true desire to learn how and why things are as they are.

Designing Effective Training Programs for the "Builder" GenerationTo better help members of this generation to succeed in a learning environment:

  • Use creative training strategies to create a fun, informal environment.
  • Provide an atmosphere in which learners have plenty of opportunities for exposure to technology.
  • Allow learners to work closely with peers.
  • Design activities in which participants have ample opportunity to share ideas and information.
  • Incorporate active learning or brain-based learning concepts into your session design.
  • Share the logic behind activities and processes so that they see how it will benefit them and can later be applied.

For more ideas on adult learning and working effectively with all learner types and generations, check out the following books: The Creative Training Idea Book: Inspired Tips for Engaging, Effective Learning, and Training Workshop Essentials: Designing, Developing and Delivering Learning Events that Get Results.

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