Learning Management: It's Not About the Generation

Posted by Liesl Christle - March 01, 2018


Recently, I watched a webinar discussing the trends for 2018, and the term “Modern Learner” was used. 

I didn’t think much of it – but I will admit my mind went right to millennials and the buzz they have created in the workforce, and especially in learning and development. But then in the chat, someone asked where I had made an assumption.

What was meant by Modern Learner?iStock-665394574-4.jpg

As the presenter began to explain their take on Modern Learner, I started to understand that what I feel has been missing from the L&D conversation. To me, 2017 felt like the “Year of Buzz.”  Every trade show, networking event, or conversation with clients was about “the next big thing.”  But I felt like something was getting lost, almost left behind, in those conversations.

When I think of learning, I think of engagement. 

What had me focus on an English degree over slugging through another mathematics class was the words and writing. These concepts interested me and excited me, and had me wanting to learn more, even outside of the classroom. In the article How the Power of Interest Drives Learning, interest is defined as “a psychological state of engagement, experienced in the moment, and also a predisposition to engage repeatedly with particular ideas, events, or objects over time.” 

iStock-492454336-1.jpgThe Modern Learner has a want or a need to learn – they look for engagement opportunities to experience learning and understanding. And they do this repetitively, not as a onetime thing.

But, combine interest with the staggering changes in our society and you’ll find that it isn’t the people but the environment that is creating a need for us to re-discover and re-define how eLearning and training works.

According to a quote provided in the article Portrait of the Modern Learner – individuals in the workplace are being asked to “do more with less.” The amount of time they can devote to learning activities is shrinking, and our “go, go, go” society has them feeling overwhelmed.

Work and learning culture becomes the focus.

When you look at these two elements together, training and development become more about the workiStock-508454788-3.jpg and learning culture than about an individual demographic. The want and need, or interest, is still very much present for learning, but it’s how a shift in focus and prioritization needs to happen in order to offer an engaging and accessible learning environment.

I look to 2018 as a time to get back to roots – the deep and strong foundations of any new buzzword or shiny platform.  To not have the focus be on a specific learner or a specific trend, but all learners, whose interest drives their learning.


Liesl_Headshot (2).png  Blog author: Liesl Christle, Account Manager 

What do you see needing to shift to make learning impactful again? What gets you excited and engaged about learning?

Leave your comments below and let's continue the discussion!


Visit us at www.reflectionsoftware.com.

Topics: Learning Management System (LMS), eLearning, training module, employee development, millennial training, gamification, eLearning developer, human resources

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