As Millennials age and encompass more and more of the workforce, they’re going to require continuing education classes that meet their unique needs. Your association must find ways to help these members learn, and that might require changing up the way your courses are delivered. One of the most popular trends in continuing education is the push toward online learning. However, the switch from traditional classroom learning to online-only might not be the best move for your organization.
The first step in creating new continuing education methods is to identify your association’s goals and understand what learning strategies will best help your members. You have a few options when it comes to training Millennials.
Online Training Materials
Millennials are all about technology, and they will likely expect at least some of your educational content to be accessible online. Putting your materials online lets students have access to information 24/7. Many platforms are now mobile-accessible, as well, making it even easier for members to reference materials on their smartphones and tablets on the go.
Offering online training materials can be a big investment, but it can have a big return, too. E-learning is increasing in popularity, and mobile device usage has been growing over the years. Millennial members will likely appreciate the ability to learn on their own time on whatever device they prefer. If you decide to put your courses online, try separating the lessons into bite-size sections so that people can easily complete one or two on the go, rather than having to pick up in the middle of a long chapter.
Traditional Classroom Learning
Despite the growing popularity of online course materials, it isn’t always the best option for training Millennials. Before you throw away all of your printed materials, know that research shows Millennials still value print for educational purposes. We surveyed Millennials for our whitepaper, Millennials and Training, and found that 86% of respondents think there’s still a place for printed materials. More than half of the respondents also said that it is easier for them to learn from printed materials. But what about those students who also want things online?
The Compromise: Blended Learning
Blended learning is a method that incorporates both traditional classroom settings and online courses. There are a number of ways to accomplish blended learning, including varying levels of printed and online materials. Students have the ability to learn from both the printed page in a normal classroom setting, as well as complete sections of the course online on their own time. If your association has a growing Millennial member base with differing needs, blended learning may the best place to start.
Don’t feel like you have to jump to online learning right away. Consider your members and their needs, then try out a method that you think is best. Be sure to involve your Millennial members throughout the program and get their feedback. If the first few classes go well, you can expand it to other programs. Ultimately, the best method is the one that works for your association’s goals and your members.