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.

Designing Effective Training Programs for the “Builder” Generation

Designing Effective Training Programs for the "Builder" Generation

Designing Effective Training Programs for the “Builder” Generation

There are many factors to consider when designing effective training programs for the “Builder” generation. Members of each generation have specific needs and expectations based on their background and experiences. Each generation has 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 Builder Generation (1901-1945) the following area general aspects of their generational period and may define what they need, want and expect in an adult learning environment:

  • They often have less formal education and view education and training as a luxury.
  • Many have less formal education and view education and training as a luxury.
  • Dependability is a value and they typically do what they are paid to do and work toward the common good of the group.
  • Traditionally, they did not grow up with much technology and may need additional instruction with computer and other related equipment.
  • Often approach learning in a traditional manner (instructor-led training) in which information is provided and processes explained or demonstrated.
  • Many may prefer a more autocratic approach to learning and may not enjoy small group or team activities or problem-solving.
  • To help ensure learning success in a session with participants from the “Builder Generation,” create an environment in which you deliver information in a formal manner. Remember to include training activities that are clearly defined, well-structured, purposeful and rather than predominantly technology-based training.

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

Instructor-Led Training Is Still Useful in Adult Learning Environments

Instructor-Led Training Is Still Useful in Adult Learning EnvironmentsInstructor-Led Training Is Still Useful in Adult Learning Environments

Instructor-Led Training Is Still Useful in Adult Learning Environments

Some learning and development professionals challenge the value of instructor-led training in a world that has moved forward with a variety of learning technologies.

Even so, I submit that ILT (Instructor-Led Training) is still a valid and viable means of sharing information with adult learners. If done correctly, with the inclusion of brain-based learning strategies, a facilitator acts as a subject matter expert (SME). He or she also functions as a conduit for the exchange of ideas and information for individual learners, and between members of learner groups. This approach provides opportunities for such things as real-time interactive dialog, feedback, and questions and answers in the classroom.

The challenge in some adult learning environments is that many trainers forget that the purpose of them being there is to assist participants in maximizing their learning potential. They often fail to use active/experiential learning strategies to engage learners or to encourage attendees to take ownership of their own learning by becoming active participants rather than passive observers.

In an ideal situation, knowledgeable and experienced learning professionals will integrate a variety of brain-based learning strategies and materials into their program design, once they have conducted an effective needs assessment. They will also adapt and/or modify their content and delivery style to meet the needs and expectations of their learners once they are in the classroom. This includes addressing primary learning modalities (visual, auditory and kinesthetic) frequently throughout a session.

Instructor-Led Training Is Still Useful in Adult Learning Environments by The Creative Trainer 

To effect a positive learning outcome and assist in helping to ensure the transfer of learning to the real world, skilled facilitators will develop a learning environment that provides for interaction, engagement, and use of various brain-based environmental elements. For example, color, sound music, motion, light, proper nutrition, and active or experiential learning strategies. This approach can contribute to enhanced comprehension, retention ultimately transfers of learning into real-world situations.

Competent learning and performance professionals never forget that their ultimate goal is to help their learners better gain, retain, recall and use what they experience.

For additional information on brain-based learning strategies and ideas for creating an interactive adult learning environment in which participants reach their learning goals, check out The Creative Training Idea Book: Inspired Tips and Techniques for Engaging and Effective Learning and Training Workshop Essentials: Designing, Developing and Delivering Learning Events That Get Results.

Creative Training Ideas For Engaging Adult Learners

Creative Training Ideas For Engaging Adult LearnersCreative Training Ideas For Engaging Adult Learners

Technology has added a variety of new tools from which trainers and educators can benefit and enhance their adult learning environments. By using creative training strategies that actively engage learners and involve participants in the learning process, you can potentially increase opportunities for them to more effectively gain, retain, recall, and use what they experience.

Creative Training Ideas For Engaging Adult Learners by The Creative Trainer

Researchers have found that the brain responds well in adult learning environments that incorporate elements such as fun, novelty, engagement, motion, color, light, and sound. To capitalize on this data, you can add electronic learning games. By adding this to your workshop to capture, it could hold learner attention while reinforcing key program concepts. Software packages such as Game Show Presenter® and Classroom Jeopardy® are both excellent vehicles for sharing and reviewing information in an interactive learning environment and tapping into the three primary adult learning styles (visual, auditory, and kinesthetic). With such software, you can create your own categories based on key session topics, then develop questions to which learners respond individually or in teams. The book, I’ll Take Learning for 500, also provides great ideas for incorporating game shows into your training sessions, workshops, and adult learning classes.

For hundreds of additional, fun, and innovative training ideas. As well as learning strategies that are based on brain-based learning research, get copies of The Creative Training Idea Book: Inspired Tips and Techniques for Engaging and Effective Learning and Training Workshop Essentials: Designing, Developing and Delivering Learning Events That Get Results.

Who is Robert W. Lucas?

Listed in Who’s Who in the World, Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in the South & Southeast, Bob Lucas is an internationally-known author and learning and performance expert who specializes in workplace performance-based training and consulting services. He has four decades of experience in customer service, human resources development, and management in a variety of organizational environments.

Bob was the 1995 and 2011 President of the Central Florida Chapter of the Association for Talent Development (ATD). Bob has lived, traveled, and worked in 28 different countries and geographic areas. During the past 40 years, Bob has shared his knowledge with workplace professionals from hundreds of organizations. These include Webster University, AAA, Orange County Clerk of Courts, Walt Disney World, SeaWorld, Martin Marietta, all U.S. military branches, and Wachovia Bank. In addition, Bob has provided consulting and training services to numerous major organizations on a variety of workplace learning topics. To contact Bob visit his website at www.robertwlucas.com or his blog www.thecreativetrainer.com.

Using Accelerated Learning with Adult Learners

Using Accelerated Learning with Adult Learners

Using Accelerated Learning with Adult Learners

Accelerated learning involves tapping into individual learning styles or modalities (e.g. visual, auditory, or kinesthetic) in order to help adult learners gain, retain, recall, and better use what they experience. In the process of actively engaging learners and their preferred style(s), you are better able to help reinforce learning and to create memories.

These can be recalled when needed and allows the transfer of learning from a learning environment or event into the real-world. Interested in learning about how the brain works and how to apply accelerated learning techniques and brain-based learning research in adult learning environments in order to enhance learning outcomes? Check out these resources. Also, check out my book The Creative Training Idea Book: Inspired Tips and Techniques for Engaging and Effective Learning.

Learn This Blogger – Robert W. Lucas

Robert W. Lucas is an internationally-known author and learning and performance expert. He specializes in workplace performance-based training and consulting services. Furthermore, he has four decades of experience in human resources development, management, and customer service in a variety of organizational environments. Robert Lucas was the 1995 and 2011 President of the Central Florida Chapter of the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD).

Robert W. Lucas has lived, traveled, and worked in 28 different countries and geographic areas. During the past 40 years, Bob has shared his knowledge with workplace professionals from hundreds of organizations, such as Webster University, AAA, Orange County Clerk of Courts, Walt Disney World, SeaWorld, Martin Marietta, all U.S. military branches, and Wachovia Bank. In addition, Bob has provided consulting and training services to numerous major organizations on a variety of workplace learning topics. To contact Bob visit his website at www.robertwlucas.com or his blog www.thecreativetrainer.com.

Using Quotes to Help Create a Brain-Based Learning Environment

Using Quotes to Help Create a Brain-Based Learning Environment

An easy and useful way to reinforce information and concepts that you will share during adult learning events is to quote famous people or experts on the topic of the session.

By either posting colorful quotes on flip chart pages or poster board or creating slides that either rotate before the session or during breaks or are inserted at appropriate points in the presentation, you can add variety and interest to the content. You can also include quotes in your handouts.Using Quotes to Help Create a Brain Based Learning Environment

Build a collection of quotes on the topics you facilitate. This allows you to switch them as needed or desired in subsequent sessions. Doing so helps keep participants interested each time they come to training and also creates a stimulating environment for you. This is especially important if you have some participants returning on multiple days. You will want each day to be fresh and stimulating in order to spark a positive emotional reaction.

Using Quotes to Help Create a Brain-Based Learning Environment by The Creative Trainer

Related to posting quotes, if you have a standard training room in your organization, you may want to remove or cover pictures or images that do not complement your content and can distract learners when their attention lags. Replace them with your own themed images or quotes.

These simple changes can help generate thought in learners. Relate this to rearranging the furniture in a room of your home to make it look different, or to wearing different clothes each day of the week to project a variety of images. In doing such things, your brain has to stop and go through a conscious effort of cognition and reflection as you select different items, thus stimulating brain neurons.

For additional ideas on creating a stimulating brain-based learning environment for adults, get a copy of The Creative Training Idea Book: Inspired Tips and Techniques for Engaging and Effective Learning by Robert W. Lucas.

Maximizing Outcomes in Adult Learning Environments

Maximizing Outcomes in Adult Learning Environments

Maximizing Outcomes in Adult Learning Environments

Preparation is the key to success in virtually everything you do in life. Training design and delivery are no different.  If you fail to prepare; your program is likely doomed to failure. It does not matter how smart you are or how much you know about a topic, if you do not take the time to design an effective interactive program based on actual learner needs, your efforts are wasted.

By analyzing the outcomes of brain-based research on how the brain best processes, stores and uses information, you can apply creative strategies to potentially enhance your adult learning environments. Such applications can help maximize learning outcomes. Additionally, planning creative activities, creating brain-based learning environments and using techniques that engage your learners are key strategies for ensuring that your learners get the most from their experience and that they will later be able to recall and use their new knowledge.

Planning creative activities, creating brain-based learning environments and using techniques that engage your learners are key strategies for ensuring that your learners get the most from their experience and that they will later be able to recall and use their new knowledge. Always use an innovative approach throughout the ISD (Instructional System Design) process and add variety so that you can address various learning styles and preferences. Also, remember to think like your learners, have an alternate plan in case you need to modify something before and during the session, and use a variety of learning strategies. By doing these things, you can positively impact the learning outcomes in your session.

For more ideas on applying brain-based or creative learning strategies that can aid in enhanced learning outcomes, get copies of The Creative Training Idea Book: Inspired Tips and Techniques for Engaging and Effective Learning and Training Workshop Essentials: Designing, Developing and Delivering Learning Events That Get Results.