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What are the expectations of different generations in terms of learning methods?

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Baby boomers prefer in-person learning. Generation X favors e-learning. Generations Y and Z, who are highly connected, prioritize digital learning formats such as Mobile Learning or MOOCs. So, how can teaching techniques be adapted based on different learner generations? This article provides all the details.

There are currently many concerns about the learning methods to offer to different generations. What learning format should be preferred based on the learner’s age? Generation and learning are closely linked.

Here are some insights to help you select the most suitable learning formats.


Which learning method for baby boomers?

For baby boomers (1946-1964), professional success involves sacrifices and hard work. Baby boomers lived for several decades without computers and the Internet. They are familiar with the world before digitalization and witnessed its arrival and the disruptions it caused.

In terms of generation and learning, baby boomers remain very attached to in-person training. This learning format allows them to benefit from a strong group dynamic and collective motivation. During in-person training, they feel stimulated by interactions between participants and trainers.


Generation and learning: What learning methods for Generation X?

Generation X (1965-1980) is a socially tough but culturally developed generation. They experienced major social crises like the Cold War or the fall of the Berlin Wall. People from this generation want to manage their careers well and feel connected to the company. They encountered digitalization as adults and adapted to computer tools. They embraced the transformation of communication methods.

In terms of generation and learning, individuals from Generation X like to combine in-person training with e-learning. E-learning allows them to learn at their own pace, wherever and whenever they want, and also to self-assess during and after their training journey. Their training path is available at any time.


Which learning methods for Generation Y?

Generation Y (1981-1995) represents the second youngest working population in the job market. They are the first generation that grew up with constant technological innovations. This is why digital natives expect immediate results and instant answers to their questions.

Even though they still seek in-person training to build connections, learners from Generation Y enjoy digital-related learning formats. In terms of generation and learning, here’s what they like:

  • MOOC: A Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) is an online course available to everyone for free.
  • LXP: A Learning Experience Platform (LXP) is an innovative learning platform that aims to enhance the learner’s learning experience.
  • Mobile Learning: Mobile Learning is a training tool that provides continuous access to the learning process from a mobile phone, laptop, or tablet.
  • Micro Learning: Micro Learning is an instant learning format consisting of small modules (20 seconds to 5 minutes) available anytime, anywhere, and on any device.

Interested in discovering learning formats that appeal to Generation Y? Quickly read this article: “5 Learning Formats Adapted to Millennials in the Workplace.

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Which learning methods for Generation Z?

Generation Z (born between 1996 and 2012), also called the “silent generation,” is the generation born into the digital era. Technology has always dominated their lives. This generation is constantly connected, and digital tools are their preferred means of communication, both personally and professionally.

In terms of generation and learning, like digital natives, Generation Z is fond of:

  • In-person learning
  • MOOCs
  • LXP (Learning Experience Platform)
  • Internet
  • Mobile Learning
  • Micro Learning

They also appreciate Peer Learning, which is a learning technique that encourages teamwork to acquire knowledge. In this learning format, learners solve problems without any intervention from the instructor.


Generation and learning: Conclusion

Should employee learning in a company be favored based on their generational profile? The answer is yes! Each generation has its specificities and preferences. In-person learning for the older generation. A mix of both for those in their fifties. Generations Y and Z, who are highly connected, particularly enjoy digital learning formats. It’s up to the company to adapt to these individual needs, aligning generation and learning.


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