Today, education and technology go hand-in-hand. After all, it wasn’t long ago that the online-only college degree seemed unfathomable and, now, you can find online plans from leading colleges and universities across the globe.
Additionally, younger generations are predominately digital natives. Tech is simply part of their daily world, and has been for as long as they can remember. Not only has this made them comfortable, or even reliant, on technology, but it also created a preference for flexibility as few learning and organizational development opportunities have to be limited by traditional classroom-style schedules.
All of these points and preferences have shifted the learning and development (L&D) landscape and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
If you are wondering what next-gen L&D will look like, here’s where the tide is taking us.
Practically everyone has a smartphone in their pocket today, and these devices continue to become more capable with each subsequent iteration. Plus, many younger professionals, including Millennials and Gen Z, actually prefer their mobile devices to traditional computers and laptops.
The availability of mobile tech and the increasing preference for these designs means L&D is becoming increasingly mobile. Entire modules and organizational development plans are created to be mobile-friendly, ensuring people can use their device of choice when the need arises.
The drive for work-life balance increased demand for schedule flexibility. Online college and university programs often embrace the flexible approach, allowing students to log in at any time to complete their tasks. Workplaces have also implemented the paradigm, empowering employees to work at times that meet their needs as well as the company’s.
Now, that same preference is being applied to L&D through the creation of organizational development opportunities that aren’t schedule-dependent. Employees may want to watch training videos while enjoying their morning coffee or review a module late into the evening, and next-gen L&D is giving them that ability.
Thanks to the internet and social media, younger generations are used to gathering information in snippets. This means, by offering learning opportunities in focused, digestible bites, it becomes easier to learn.
Next-gen L&D embraces this approach through the creation of bite-sized learning, ensuring all training is broken down into small segments based on single points. This makes the information easier to retain and creates an inherent level of flexibility, ensuring employees don’t have to block hours out of their schedule at a time to complete the module.
For many younger workers, video games were a memorable part of their childhood. It allowed them to collect achievements in recognition of the progress, an approach that can also be applied to L&D.
Gamification can also encourage friendly competition, something that some employees may find motivating. By creating changes to “level up,” your L&D program may feel more inherently rewarding, making it seem more valuable to your staff.
Are You Ready to Embrace Next-Gen L&D?
If you are ready to embrace next-gen L&D, the experienced instructional design consultants at Clarity Consultants can work directly with you to create your ideal solution. Contact us to discuss your goals with one of our skilled consultants today and see how our services can make crafting your perfect learning and development program easier than ever.