7 Digital Learner Preferences to Know in 2019

Digital learner preferences
Digital learner preferences vary between each individual and across different organizations and agencies.

 

What are the digital learning preferences of your employees?

If you don’t know, your employees may secretly hate learning, or worse, they aren’t absorbing what you teach them – leading to constant retraining, poor performance, and bad customer service.

All of which can be reversed when you do know about digital learner preferences.

And the Digital Learning Consortium is here to show you just what they are.

They recently released a survey titled Voice of the Learner conducted during the spring and summer of 2018 that gathered responses from 5,000 learners spanning 5 generations from 114 countries in 15 professions.

So you know they found some good stuff.

We’re going to detail the major takeaways from this study below to show you how to design digital learning programs that your employees look forward to taking.

7 Digital Learner Preferences

1. A.I. Without Privacy Violations

Most respondents said they would use A.I.

They recognize the benefits of A.I., such as automatically identifying skill gaps and recommending learning activities to fill the gaps.

There’s just one sticking point:

Privacy.

Many respondents said they were worried about how their managers would use information collected using A.I. They’re afraid it may be used against them when being given assignments or during performance evaluations.

Keep this in mind if you decide to implement A.I. and attempt to keep things as transparent and voluntary as possible.

2. Learning Records That Are Controlled by Individual Learners

The majority of survey respondents (over two-thirds) want learning records that follow them throughout their career, enabling them to view and share their progress with anyone.

But once again, the issue of privacy crops up.

These same employees want to be in complete control over their records instead of giving control to a 3rd-party. Essentially, they would act like “supercharged resumes or LinkedIn profiles” that were kept secure by the learner themselves.

3. Online Courses and Digital Reading over Video

While online courses had the highest mean importance, respondents spent the most time each week (1.6 hours) on digital reading, both overtaking video in importance and time spent.

It seems respondents didn’t enjoy audio or webcasting.

4. Learning Alone

Another surprising finding from this study is that 58% of respondents said they prefer learning alone rather than in groups (when engaged in a Massive Open Online Course environment).

At the same time, 70% of respondents agreed that peer-to-peer interactions enhance the learning experience. But if they form learning groups, most of them preferred group sizes of 3-6 instead of large group sessions.

5. Longer Learning Sessions over Microlearning

As if this report didn’t feature enough shocking information, it turns out that most people don’t prefer microlearning.

Here’s how the numbers broke down:

  • 51% prefer 20-45 minute learning sessions.
  • 24% prefer 1-2 hour long learning sessions.
  • 9% prefer 5-10 minute learning sessions.

This tells us that a mix of learning experiences would be best, allowing individual employees to tailor the learning experience to their preferences.

6. A Clear Link Between Learning and Their Career

Now, this next point should come as no surprise:

Over 70% of respondents are more motivated to learn when they see a clear link between what they’re learning and how it furthers their career.

If you can create a culture of continuous learning that rewards intelligent and competent employees with raises, promotions, perks, rewards, etc., then you’re employees will gladly engage in your learning programs.

7. Centralized Learning Hub

78% of respondents prefer a centralized learning hub where they can access all of their training from anywhere.

They don’t care much about seeing the speaker or in virtual reality, but they do care about having personalized recommendations and an organized knowledge database they can use at will.

The Next Step in Meeting Digital Learner Preferences

Now you know what your employees want from your learning initiative.

The next step is to give it to them.

But you don’t want to provide it haphazardly – one program for this and another for that.

Like the last point in our list above, you want to give your employees a central hub of information they can access while in the office, on a train home, or in their bedroom.

You have to make learning easy for them.

And it should include courses, reading material, and videos to cater to all different needs and learning preferences.

Where can you find all of this in one package?

Right here at Enterprise Training.

We have over 6,000 online government training courses covering everything from cybersecurity to project management.

If you need a one-stop-shop for your employees’ learning needs, then try a 14-day free trial of Enterprise Training today by clicking the button below.

Experience the proven, easy-to-use, and cost-effective benefits of online training by scheduling your free online training consultation today!

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How to Use Microlearning to Increase Productivity in Your Agency

Microlearning offers quick, easy to understand lessons for maximum comprehension
Microlearning offers quick, easy to understand lessons for maximum comprehension

Microlearning has been revolutionizing employee training and development in the corporate world, but is it applicable to Government agencies?

With increasing budget cuts, Government agencies have to maximize their returns on every dollar they spend.

Long-form training–where participants sit in a conference room for hours, learn from a hefty manual, and then take a test–can be costly and time-consuming.

Microlearning, on the other hand, can be consumed virtually anywhere, is delivered quickly, and the results are impressive.

A study from the Dresden University of Technology in Germany found that microlearning resulted in 20% higher information retention than long-form learning.

This means less time, money, and resources spent on retraining employees in your agency.

But, microlearning may not be the end all be all of learning and development that some companies would like you to believe.

To help you understand the proper role of microlearning in your agency, we’ll define microlearning, compare it to long-form learning, and discuss some of its benefits and drawbacks.

What is Microlearning?

Microlearning is characterized by short, focused modules that help the learner understand one topic or idea at a time.

Modules are usually 3-5 minutes long (or shorter), and they incorporate video, audio, and written material for a full-sensory learning experience.

Microlearning can be deployed on any device which makes it ideal for busy learners and educators who want to be able to quickly learn and apply what they’ve learned immediately.

What’s the Difference Between Microlearning and Long-Form Learning

Traditional learning typically involves an instructor who decides how participants will be learning (text vs. audio vs. video vs. a mixture of all 3).

Participants usually go through the training only once, and training lasts for a few hours or a few days.

Microlearning, on the other hand, guarantees a variety of learning tools will be available to participants so that they can “drive” their own learning experience, and use only the tools that help them individually learn better.

Microlearning modules allow participants to learn at their own pace, and to break information into manageable chunks that are easier to remember long-term.

Traditional, long-form learning is very formal in its tone and setting–you arrive at one location, go through the whole training in the same place and in the same way, and then test your knowledge.

Microlearning is flexible enough to allow you to learn formally–like in a conference room with an instructor–or informally, like while riding the bus or on your lunch break.

Microlearning modules are designed to be consumed whenever you need to learn or relearn a topic or idea.

What are the Benefits of Microlearning?

Spaced Repetition

The most commonly cited benefit to Microlearning is how helpful it is in counteracting the famous “forgetting curve”, which hypothesizes that you will lose most of your acquired knowledge if you don’t attempt to retain it.

Because Microlearning modules are so short, they’re easy to consume again and again over time to solidify the knowledge in your memory.

Wide-Range of Applications

Microlearning modules can be used for teaching one-off ideas, for quick reference, or as part of a series of other microlearning programs.

Effective Outcomes

Microlearning will help you remember more of any given subject–especially if it’s complicated–because it breaks information down into bite-sized pieces that center around one big idea, allowing you to focus without distraction, and put your newfound knowledge into practice immediately.

Learner-Centered

Every individual has different capacities and preferences for learning.

Microlearning gives you the flexibility to design lesson plans and training sessions that will maximize the educational experience for each individual employee.

Plus, since some employees don’t have the time nor the interest in sitting through a long-form training session–especially if it’s filled with ancillary or discretionary content– you can deliver the essentials of the session in a compartmentalized, easy-to-consume format.

What are the Drawbacks of Microlearning?

Can’t Create Experts

If you really want to master a subject and become an expert, you’ll have to dive much deeper into your subject matter for much longer.

Concepts, definitions, and explanations can all be understood with microlearning, but complex topics, advanced skills, and in-depth knowledge require long-form learning.

More Planning Ahead of Time

If you’re tasked with creating a microlearning program, you’re going to have to wade through all the material you want to teach, identify the most essential parts of the course, and then break those down into easy to consume modules.

A microlearning program may not provide a complete picture of the subject matter because it usually covers only one aspect of a topic or idea.

Also, if the program creator misses a crucial bit of information when developing the course, they could make the learning experience feel disjointed or fragmented.

How Should Microlearning be Used?

Microlearning is best used as part of a hybrid learning program that also includes long-form learning and hands-on training. It is an ideal performance support tool, since it can be delivered anywhere, on any device, at the exact time an employee needs to learn or relearn a subject.

It’s not useful for complex topics, but it can be used as a spaced repetition tool that reinforces complex ideas by delivering a shortened version of them over time.

It’s also ideal for busy employees who travel often and only need to keep up-to-date with the latest training and development requirements.

At the end of the day, you need to decide what’s best for each individual employee based on their current level of skill and knowledge in order to provide them with the learning that suits them best.

Need a Microlearning Program For Your Agency?

We have over 6,000 online training programs designed specifically for Government agencies and employees to refine their skills, upgrade their knowledge, and perform their jobs better. You get 24/7 access to all of our courses and they can be viewed on all devices. Every Government agency we’ve worked with has benefited from our elearning courses.

Experience the proven, easy-to-use, and cost-effective benefits of online training by scheduling your free online training consultation today!

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