Gen Z Online Learning Plan: A Playbook for L&D Managers


eLearning for Generation Z? What L&D teams need to consider

Have you hired a group of young Gen Zers and are looking for ways to train them effectively? Well, you’re not alone. In a world characterized by rapid technological advancements and rapidly changing business trends, corporate training and development must keep pace to stay relevant. Companies have realized the importance of creating a learning culture within their organization and are constantly striving to maintain their learning strategies. Traditional classroom training has taken a back seat and eLearning has become the new trend. Gradually, as Generation Z makes up a significant percentage of the global workforce, it is time to revisit the eLearning design and development approach and give it a much-needed overhaul. Read this article to learn what L&D managers should consider when designing eLearning for Gen Z.

What makes Generation Z different from others?

Born after the late 1990s and before the start of the 2010s, Generation Z is the most dynamic generation that has ever existed. According to studiesGeneration Z and millennials will make up approximately 58% of the global workforce by 2030. It is important to understand the characteristics that set them apart from other generations and develop a foolproof training strategy to nurture them and ensure their success in this dynamic business environment. .

Here are some characteristics of Gen Zers that will help you conceive Online learning that best suits your modern workforce.

Characteristics of Generation Z learners

Gen Zers have never lived in a world without the Internet, so it’s no wonder they’re drawn to technology. They love to play with modern electronic gadgets and spend a lot of time browsing the Internet to satisfy their quest for constant learning.

  • They have a short attention span

These next-generation learners have an attention span of just eight seconds. They want everything to happen at light speed and get frustrated when things slow down or stall. It’s a task to capture and hold their attention for longer periods of time. So, plan for reduced learning to ensure better completion rates.

Generation Z has a practical approach to life. They look for “what’s in it” for everything they invest their time and effort into. They like to get involved in learning rather than just going through long boring content.

  • They are diverse and dynamic

Generation Z is dynamic and loves versatility. Binding them to stereotypical learning formats can discourage them and hinder their productivity. Trying multiple learning formats to convey the concept can definitely keep them motivated and boost learning.

  • They are always on the move

Pressed for time, Generation Z is always on the move. In today’s fast-paced world, where speed is crucial to success, Gen Zers are adaptable and flexible and expect the same when it comes to learning. Self-paced learning across multiple platforms fits well with the Gen Z mindset.

5 Key Points to Consider When Designing eLearning for Gen Z Learners

Creating eLearning for Generation Z requires well-thought-out action plans because they are very different from previous generations and are driven by a unique set of motivators. Considering the features mentioned in the previous section, you can follow the following learning strategies to design a training program for your next-generation learners.

1. Appearance Matters: Focus on the Visual Appeal of Your eLearning Courses

Members of Generation Z cannot imagine a world without technology and are surrounded by screens, big and small. This means that if you want to create an immersive learning experience for them, you need to work on the visual appeal of your eLearning courses. Long learning modules with text-heavy slides won’t get you far with Gen Z. Make sure your eLearning courses are engaging enough with powerful interactivities that make it easy for learners to participate. Also focus on the color theme of your lessons to add sparkle to the content. Invest in a Learning Management System (LMS) which is well organized, has an intuitive and visually appealing interface and offers simple and easy navigation, it is a smart decision to grab the learner’s attention.

2. Short And Snappy is the new cool – go microlearning

Your Gen Z workforce has an attention span even shorter than that of a goldfish. Phew! They are used to consuming short, snappy content, whether on social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter, or on news apps like Inshorts. Obviously, they would also prefer their learning content to be presented in quick, digestible bites. Microlearning is the way to go. This learning format can divide your long eLearning modules into short, engaging microlearning modules that your next-gen learners would love. Microlearning allows you to present your content in different eye-catching formats, like videos, interactive PDFs, podcasts, digital flashcards, infographics, etc. Your learners can complete these quick microlearning lessons during work breaks or commuting, without disrupting workflow: a win-win situation for businesses and learners.

3. Generation Z values ​​communication and collaboration – encourages social learning

Generation Z loves networking and values ​​communication and collaboration. Rather than taking multi-hour online courses, they prefer community-based learning. It is not surprising to find them on platforms like Quora, Reddit or YouTube to appease their quest. So it’s a great idea to encourage social learning to harness their propensity to stay connected. Provide your Gen Z learners with opportunities to collaborate through online learning forums, chat rooms, and group discussions. Cross-training programs can also be implemented to enable peer-to-peer learning.

4. Create Immersive Learning Experiences — Gamify Your eLearning

Games add a fun element to your eLearning courses and captivate today’s youth. Adding game elements such as points, scores, levels, and badges to your eLearning courses motivates learners to actively engage with the content. Displaying the best performers in the rankings creates healthy competition and stimulates active participation. This creates a stickier learning experience and ensures high retention of concepts learned. Enhancing your eLearning courses with VR-based gamification elements can lead to an immersive learning experience and multiply learning.

5. Flexibility and freedom are their top priority – adapting to mobile learning

Imagine a scene inside the subway, a bus, a train or even on the street. Most younger generations are glued to their cell phones. It’s no wonder that mobile learning is making its way into corporate training. Moreover, given the pressure of work in this competitive world and the constant struggle to achieve work-life harmony, everyone is pressed for time. We cannot expect the ambitious and dynamic Generation Z to set aside time for long hours of training. Give them the flexibility of learning at your own pace by implementing mobile learning so they can access training materials at their convenience on the device of their choice. Make sure your eLearning courses are responsive and facilitate learning on the go.

The path to follow

Generation Z is the population that will dominate the future workforce across the world. It is important to understand their distinct learning needs and preferences to upskill and reskill them to build a strong workforce that stands out from the competition. It is important for businesses to keep an eye on recent training and development trends and come up with a training program that helps their Gen Z workforce stay relevant to the dynamic needs of the business . I’m sure you’re already using some of the learning formats discussed above to train your next-generation learners. And if not, try it.

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