Organizations today are making a shift from a traditional training method to a continuous learning environment in order to cater to the constant learning needs of their employees. And with this shift in delivery of training, anytime and anywhere, Learning Management Systems (LMSs) are becoming an indispensable part of the corporate training world.
According to C and M Research “the market of learning management systems is to hit a value of $7.83 billion by 2018″.
On the other hand, nearly 63 million Gen Y employees are expected to flood the workforce by 2015. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Gen Y employees would constitute more than 40% of their workforce by 2020. This younger generation who are digital natives with short attention spans, prefer learning by doing or sharing and not by listening to trainers for hours.
Understandably, the traditional LMS, which has just been a platform for hosting and tracking trainings have evolved greatly to meet the current trends of learning management. But is your LMS ready to cater to the learning needs of Gen Y? Will it prove successful in meeting the expectations of this younger generation?
Let us drive deep and understand Gen Y’s expectations of an LMS.
1. Self-Driven Learning
Gen Y love self-driven learning. They want access to information instantly when they need it. Also, as they are said to have shorter attention spans, you cannot expect them to sit in a classroom or sit through an eLearning course of long durations at one go to understand just a part of it.
They need just-in-time, byte-sized information and freedom to choose any topic or go to any module whenever they want – not necessarily in a sequential manner. Therefore, the LMS should provide multiple learning paths (Traditional, Personalized, Just for me or solve my Problem) that can cater to Gen y learning needs.
2. Easy-to-use navigation
The adoption rate of any LMS depends on its user friendliness. Gen Y has grown up with technology and so will not show interest towards outdated or difficult-to-use systems. Instead, they would prefer LMSs with a simple easy-to-use interface. The users should be able to access whatever they need – resources, courses, etc., and also search for the information they need in a few clicks.
This easy-to-use navigation encourages users to interact more with the LMS and increases the number of courses enrolled. Therefore, the LMS system should make learning available in an easily accessible manner.
3. Collaborative learning
Gen Y prefers to grab knowledge in an interactive mode by sharing and learning from others, rather than learning in isolation. This approach also allows them the possibility to take ownership learning paths and improve their contributions.
Therefore, they expect the LMS to provide a collaborative learning environment and all features that allow them to interact with each other improve the participatory culture of employees.
4. Want to go mobile
Even though eLearning has made the lives of Gen Y easier, providing anywhere and anytime learning, they do not prefer to get tied to a desktop for the sake of learning. They need flexibility to enhance knowledge and get trained on the go.
As these digital natives are well acquainted with mobile devices, including tablets and smartphones, they wish to access learning through their mobile devices. So obviously, the future of corporate learning rests with the mobile.
Hence, the modern LMS should be mobile-compatible and allow courses to run seamlessly on all mobile devices and track all mobile learning activities.
Contemporary learners are well aware of their learning paths and wants to be marshalls of their learning. Also, these younger generations prefer to learn by sharing and while they are on the move. So the systems put in place should make learning available in an easily accessible manner, allow them to collaborate and learn while on the go. So is your LMS ready to cater to the learning demands of Gen Y?
These are some of my insights. Do share if you have any comments.