There’s a lot of talk lately in the market about millennials and the modern learner. One of the trends is the push toward informal learning and trying to achieve the 70/20/10 model. However, many organizations are still struggling to get to those numbers. According to Brandon Hall Group, the current reality still looks like this:

  • 43 percent formal learning
  • 14 percent informal (social/collaborative/peer-to-peer) learning
  • 43 percent on-the-job activities

Modern learners have one percent of their work week to dedicate to training, according to Todd Tauber’s research report, “Investing in Learning Content: Redefining Priorities to Keep Up With the Modern Learner.” But one of the biggest ironies here is that nearly 50 percent of them spend 30 minutes or more every day on unofficial, unscheduled and impromptu learning.

So what does the modern learner want? Below are three reasons you might not be meeting the needs of the modern learner.

You aren’t going mobile

According to research by Bersin by Deloitte, only 12 percent of learning is mobile-enabled. Most learning organizations are not alone in this one. However, 54 percent of workers say they would like to be able to learn on the go. It isn’t surprising that today’s workforce wants to be able to access mobile learning content. This is after all, a generation of learners that grew up with Google and YouTube.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when going mobile with your learning content is just taking your content straight from a desktop course and putting it into a mobile course. There are numerous reasons for this – mobile interactions, screen sizes and scrolling behaviors are different to name a few.

Also, mobile learning content (and any content in general) has to be findable. Learners today want to be able to quickly access the answers to questions they have and apply that knowledge immediately. If your content is stuck inside a course and learners can’t search for a particular piece of information, they are going to turn to YouTube or Google in frustration. This is clearly not the result you are intending.

You have too much content

Learning organizations have spent a lot of precious time creating great content over the past decade now that authoring has become easier. One of the biggest issues with all this content is the overload of information. L&D organizations often create their content in silos – leading to a lot of similar and duplicate content. The problem arises when no one knows what content they really have.

The issue with too much content is you are unable to deliver the right content to the right learner at the moment of need. With so little time to dedicate to learning, your employees need to get the right information, fast.

Your learning is not bite-size

Closely related to the above issue of content overload, learners also only have the time and brainpower to consume bite-sized nuggets of information. According to the article, “The Bite-Size Revolution: How to Make Learning Stick” by Mind Gym, a bite-sized approach to delivering learning content results in 17 percent greater transfer of knowledge.

Bite-sized or microlearning is just easier to digest and take into practice. If a learner has to retake a day-long course just to refresh a bit of knowledge they had forgotten, the they just aren’t going to retake it. Most already know, you don’t retain 100 percent of knowledge from any course you take.

None of these issues above are easy to overcome, but all of them are worth paying attention to in order to stay connected with the modern workforce, as the last thing any L&D department wants is to become obsolete. Your goal is to be a strategic partner that helps improve overall business performance.

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