Designing Online Training for Generation Y

Generation Y - 2013 Oct 15

Designing online training for Generation Y is a challenge because the training methods that are successful with them are less traditional. If you’re wondering who the term “Generation Y” refers to, you’re not alone. Here’s a quick description: Generation Y members were born between about 1980-1992 and are digital natives with parents who are not, meaning they grew up using technology like the internet. They often have shorter attention spans, resist standard, monologue-style lectures and prefer action to talking.

Since designing for Generation Y can be a challenge, here are a few tips to guide you in your e-Learning development!

  • Take advantage of BYOD.
    The BYOD trend—Bring Your Own Device—is popular with Generation Y learners because it allows them the freedom and flexibility to use their own devices to access an e-Learning course. They’ll be comfortable, and without the unfamiliarity of a company computer, they’ll be more open to learning the material in your course.
  • Keep things short and focused.
    This is good advice for all e-Learning courses—no matter the generation. But especially with Generation Y, you’ll want to make sure each section of online training has a clear purpose and main point. Write e-Learning objectives for yourself, if you must. If your course is too long and unfocused, your Generation Y learners may become distracted and unmotivated to gain any valuable information from it.
  • Gamify it.
    Gamification is another trend, like BYOD, that is highly successful in teaching Generation Y e-Learners. Because Generation Y members grew up with computers and technology playing a large role in their lives, they learn well when games are incorporated into their training material.
  • Don’t waste their time!
    This goes along with keeping things short and focused. For example, when you’re adding games to an e-Learning course, make sure they help to teach the course material and aren’t just wasting your learners’ time. Generation Y members grew up with instant access to information, thanks to the internet. They won’t appreciate it if you waste their time.

Use these tips to help you as you’re developing e-Learning courses for Generation Y.

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Christie Wroten writes for the Lectora e-Learning Blog, sharing Lectora tips and researching the latest industry trends. You can also find her articles on eLearning Industry, Learning Solutions Magazine, Learning Technologies Blog and HR.com. Christie graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University, where she studied English and Writing. When Christie’s not writing blog posts and e-Learning news, she enjoys piano, guitar, interior design and sushi.

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