Adapting to the Modern Learner: Meeting Expectations in a Digital World

In today’s fast-paced digital age, we’re constantly reaching for our smartphones, unlocking them up to 9 times an hour. The digital revolution has reshaped not only our tech habits but also our attention spans. Employees get interrupted every 5 minutes, with concentration dwindling after just 8 seconds, less than the average goldfish’s 9-second attention span.

With the increased demands on employees, the ubiquity of information, and the digital lifestyle, it’s no wonder that learner behaviour and their expectations of digital learning content have changed.

So, what does it mean for those of us tasked with designing learning experiences?

We explore three tips that can help you to meet modern learner’s expectations.

1. Less is more

The average employee has only 1% of their workweek to dedicate to training and development. This scarcity of time underscores the need to streamline learning. Modern learners demand speed, convenience, relevance, and quality. To cater to these needs:

  • Filter essential information from the nice-to-know details. Present learners with the critical knowledge they need, free from superfluous content that can dilute the learning experience.
  • Break down content into smaller, digestible portions. Chunk information into bite-sized modules that learners can easily digest, allowing for seamless integration into their daily routines.
  • Incorporate scheduled breaks during the learning journey. Recognise that modern learners don’t want to be overwhelmed with a constant flow of information. Providing built-in breaks fosters retention and engagement.
  • Use quiz results to tailor training to specific needs. Customise learning experiences based on individual performance, ensuring learners focus on areas that require improvement.
  • Keep video content within a 4-minute optimal duration. Studies suggest that, on average, learners engage most effectively with video content when it’s kept within this timeframe. It aligns with the modern learner’s preference for quick, digestible information.
2. Involve the learner and make it interactive

Modern learners expect not just information but guidance on how to apply that knowledge. Engage and involve learners by:

  • Asking questions before providing information. Prompting learners with relevant questions primes them to actively seek answers, enhancing retention and understanding.
  • Using scenarios for hands-on learning. Encourage learners to make decisions and face the consequences of their choices within controlled, safe environments. This fosters practical understanding and problem-solving skills.
3. Create an intuitive design and user experience

In a world of swipes and intuitive interactions, digital learning should follow suit. Simplify and streamline by:

  • Minimising instructional text when design is self-explanatory. Effective design should guide learners without the need for extensive text. Learners should intuitively understand how to navigate the learning experience.
  • Using familiar navigational and instructional icons. Borrow from everyday mobile user interfaces to ensure your learners can easily navigate and interact with the learning content.

In this ever-evolving digital landscape, aligning your learning experiences with the expectations of modern learners is key to effective training and development. As learners continue to evolve, it’s crucial that our approach to education and development evolves with them. By incorporating these strategies into your eLearning design, you’ll be better equipped to meet the dynamic needs of today’s learners.

If you have any questions or would like more information on how we can help you to meet modern learner’s expectations, please get in touch with us today.

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