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The Modern Learner: Does Your Training Content Meet Their Needs?

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Let’s start by defining the modern learner. Most of them are a part of the new generation of workers that is slowly becoming the majority of the workplace.

These individuals grew up with Google, YouTube, and Facebook. Their mobile devices are always in close proximity and in some instances, worn around their wrists.

These modern learners are overwhelmed by the amount of work, distracted by numerous interruptions throughout the day, and impatient for success. And on top of all that, they have to keep up with the ever-changing demand for new skills.

The Modern Learner by Bersin by Deloitte chart
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Traditional eLearning vs Modern Learning

Imagine that one of these modern learners walks into the workplace, they sit down at their computer and realize that the mandatory 2-hour training course they have continued to push off is now due by 12pm today. They’ve pushed it off because they knew it would require them to sit at their computer, click through the slides, until they finally got to the end.

Here at BizLibrary, we like to refer to this as the Clicks and Slides method. It looks something like this:

Two-thirds of modern learners who use this method complain that they don’t have time to do their jobs. Without enough time for day-to-day responsibilities, how are they going to be engaged with training that takes 2 hours to complete?

Now, let’s imagine that the same modern learner walks into work, sits down at his computer and realizes he has training to complete. But something is different…including their attitude. The required training is a 5-minute video that will complete the 5 course series they have been taking on Time Management over the past few days.

They completed video 1 and 2 at their desk on Monday, finished 3 and 4 on their mobile device while they were at the gym on Tuesday evening, and now they are completing video 5 while they are having their morning coffee. They finish the video, pass the quiz, and see that based on their learner profile, the LMS recommends they view a 3-minute course on Ethics. Not only do they complete their assigned series, but they elect a new course and further develop their business skills.

So what’s the big difference here? Short-form video that is mobile and easy to find allows the learner to complete training that fits within their busy schedule. It also reduces the feeling of being overwhelmed, distracted, and impatient.

Training content that is broken up into bite-sized pieces makes training easier to manage, and in return, encourages the employee to continue learning.

Training shouldn’t feel like a burden and as more learners take control over their own development, they are going prefer training methods that allow them to be in control. How do you know if the training content you are providing your modern learners meets their needs and allows them to continue to grow their skills, develop additional skills, and competencies?

First, try taking a look at the number of courses your learners select to learn by themselves as opposed to courses that are assigned to them.

Employees of BizLibrary client companies elect 43% of the training they complete in a year. That’s more than 3x the rate of the industry benchmark.

Bottom line, preferences of the modern learner are changing and employee training has evolved… has yours?

Read More: How to Use Science to Improve Your Employee Training Program

Vice President of Marketing at BizLibrary | Erin's role allows her to continually help improve BizLibrary's online learning solutions through a strong understanding of the needs of training and development professionals. She has gained deep insight into the industry and provides vision and messaging that helps organizations to find the training solutions they're looking for.