How to Engage the Millenial Generation
In a recent research piece for Forrester’s, Claire Schooley proposes that interactive learning activities, such as simulations, immersive learning and serious gaming are a more effective learning medium for the Millennials (workers born between 1980 and 2000).
The umbrella term, coined by the eLearning Guild for this type of learning, is Immersive Learning Simulations, or ILS. These are interactive learning tools which can structure learning in a number of different ways; by representing a real-life situation in which the learner has to make decisions based on information and events and then receive feedback on the quality of these decisions. Another option is the combination of simulations, learning and competition in which there is a balance between learning and gaming elements. Finally, some ILS use “serious games” to engage and motivate learners to score points and “win”.
Schooley says: “Today’s young employees are pragmatic when it comes to learning. They want information immediately that will help them master their work; they like problem solving and they want to interact with their colleagues. Plus they are more likely to respond to visual interactions and they are often averse to excessive reading.”
Well-developed Immersive Learning Simulations (ILS) like software and role play simulations, and even “serious games”, which engage learners’ competitive instincts, can yield very tangible results. ROI data is as yet scarce, however early indicators from the eLearning Guild’s recent member survey indicate that 75% of those who completed ROI studies, said that they achieved modest or very good ROI results. The key, continues Claire, is “to balance the motivation and the learning…match simulations to the learning goals …(and) …make success critical to progress.”