Time to let go of detailed curriculums and the value of statistics from learning should be used less to grade the student and more to personalise the learning design for millennials and other generations. In this development, digitization is the main driving force. Vital sensible intelligence about the development is to be found when analysing the millennial’s preferences. Two reports from Pew Research Center and Umeå University in Sweden about Millennials learning habits show a shift towards more informal learning, which is not surprising in the sense that the extraordinary knowledge-base called the web is only one click away 24/7.
A Journey of Autonomous Learners
Take up your learning portfolio, time to fill it with qualitative skills and knowledge. Just remember effective learning nowadays takes place on various platforms with different forms of media and in various forms of education. In such a complex learning environment the awareness of qualitative resources to learning is necessary. Moreover, this requires support tools and guidance from mentors. This awareness of meaning and significance encourage the learner to consciously expand their learning horizon without a strict curriculum. To use John Maxell’s words:
“Once you’ve tasted significance, success never satisfies.”
This change of perspective is driven by the millennials general preferences, Lars Nordqvist at Umeå University explains from the results of his doctoral thesis:
“How learning is valued and understood guides the learners’ understanding of how they can or would like to use technology.”
Taking the bus or riding a bike
Jay Cross describes the transformation as that formal learning is like riding the bus. Where somebody else is driving with a clear destination and many stops on the way. In a learning perspective, this is not that relevant until you reach your particular destination. While riding the bike, you choose the path, speed and can stop wherever you want to, which is the prerequisites for informal learning.
Learning Design for Millennials
In this perspective according to ATD’s study Leadership Development for Millennials the following five points are drivers of a successful learning environment for millennials as well as other generations in the years to come:
1. Soft skills training
2. Leadership development
3. Informal learning
4. Job rotation
5. A strong organisational culture.