We are delighted to welcome Christopher Pappas, founder of eLearning Industry as a Guest Blogger to the PulseLearning Community Blog.
7 Tips To Motivate Millennials
Motivation is the core of effective eLearning for millennials. Even if none of the other puzzle pieces are present and they are distracted or busy with their everyday lives, motivation can drive millennials to succeed. As eLearning professionals, you must identify their sources of motivation and use them to develop engaging and immersive eLearning courses for your “digital native” audience.
Here I give 7 tips for eLearning Professionals on how to Motivate Millennials:
- Stress real-world applications.
Millennials have a strong sense of purpose. They need to know why they are doing something and how it will serve the greater good. How does it fit into the big picture? How can it help them achieve their personal or professional goals? This is why you must stress the real-world benefits and applications of your eLearning experience from day one. Let them know what they can expect to take away from the eLearning course, such as what skills they will develop, and always ensure that the learning objectives and goals of your eLearning course tie into real-world challenges. When millennials know the purpose of the eLearning course, they are likely to pursue it passionately until they see it through to fruition.
- Empower them.
This generation is independent and confident. They want to be able to have a direct say in all the things that matter in their lives, their learning experiences being one of them. As such, you need to give them a way to share their opinions and insights so that they can feel as though they are making a difference. This also gives them the sense that they are doing everything in their power to fulfill that purpose I discussed in the previous tip. You must give them as much control as possible over how they complete the eLearning course as well. For example, enable them to choose when they finish an online module and in which eLearning activities to engage. Better yet, give them a topic and let them create an online presentation or website that explores all its facets.
- Track their progress.
Millennial learners like to be able to track their progress as they go along. They must be able to immediately determine where they are at and what they still need to accomplish. This can be achieved by integrating a progress bar or even badges that they can earn after they complete a specific online module or task. You can also create smaller milestones throughout the eLearning course that they must reach before moving forward. This is particularly useful in longer eLearning courses because it breaks the online lessons down into more manageable steps so that learners don’t feel overwhelmed or overloaded with information.
- Encourage collaboration.
This generation of learners thrives in social environments. They enjoy sharing personal experiences and skills with their peers, as well as learning new things from other members in their group. Therefore, it’s a good idea to include as many group collaboration projects as possible, such as those that require them to create a blog or virtual presentation with other members of the virtual class. Use project management platforms, video conferencing tools, and social media groups to allow them to work together remotely. Let them experience the intricacies of team dynamics first hand, which also helps to build their communication skills and get them excited about exploring the topic with others.
- Offer immediate feedback.
Though they may be independent and self-assured, millennial learners also crave feedback and recognition. They like to be congratulated on a job well done and praised for their achievements. To be more specific, they don’t care for generalized feedback that pertains to the entire class. Instead, they need to be offered personal feedback and acknowledgment for their accomplishments. If a learner excels, be sure to offer them a virtual pat on the back and let them know that you’ve taken notice of all their hard work. Likewise, if a learner is struggling, make a point to pull them aside and ask if they need additional support. If they do something incorrectly, give them targeted feedback that states exactly where they need to improve and resources that can help them do so.
- Focus on flexibility.
Millennials want to pursue their purpose with passion. They want to achieve their goals and achieve their own version of success. However, a busy schedule and other responsibilities often stand in the way. Thus, you should create a flexible schedule that allows learners to complete online projects and exercises when it’s most convenient for them. Keep this in mind when you’re creating deadlines so that you give your millennials the extra “wiggle room” they need to actually complete the online assignments, without having to worry about compromising other aspects of their lives, such as their home life or their professional responsibilities.
- Offer mentoring or other online support services.
This generation likes to have control, but they also like to be able to see the direct path they need to take to achieve success. In other words, they require guidance from time to time. At the very beginning of the eLearning course, let them know exactly what is expected of them and what this online course is about. Be very specific about the individual online lessons involved, as well as what they will need to do to fulfill their role as online learners. Tell them what skills are required, how long they have to complete each eLearning activity, and what they should be able to do by the time they’ve completed the eLearning course.
Get them excited and fully engaged in the learning process by using these tips to motivate millennials. When the motivation is there, effective and interactive eLearning is always within reach, regardless of the individual learner’s educational or cultural background.