Broadly speaking, the learners’ population is categorized into four different segments that include – the Veterans (or the Traditionalists), the Baby Boomers, Generation X and Generation Y. They belong to different time periods and the diversity of these learners is influenced by different factors such as the different circumstances they have witnessed, available facilities they got, technological impacts they felt and so on.
The new age learners’ group mainly comprise of the Generation Y category of learners. Generation Y or the Millennial’s or the Echo Boomers are those born between 1980 and 2000. They represent a major chunk of the learning population and therefore it has become imperative for learning design professionals to know the learning preferences of individuals coming under the cohort of the Millennial’s group.
Generation Y learners are much more tech savvy than their predecessors and are proficient in a Web 2.0 world that includes social media. The Millennial’s are open-minded, optimistic and more driven by technology and its applications. Being avid followers of technology, they are accustomed to quick retrieval of information and filter the information according to their need. The slightest delay in accessing information can draw away their attention from the subject matter.
For this generation of learners who are constantly exposed to technology; technology has a profound impact in their learning pattern. They understand that today’s learning will be more driven by technology and a mere mouse click can easily give them access to all the information they require. They prefer solutions such as mobile learning, social media to establish a two-way dialogue or blogs to share new ideas or tips and so on. Thus, collaborating with technology ensures they enjoy learning of real world scenarios in a virtual setting.
Therefore, evaluating the general profile of today’s learners (who are more tech-savvy than their predecessors) would help learning design professionals to design their training solutions in a way that these would leverage technology and put it to the best possible use.