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We recently released the eBook “Creating Engaging Training for a Millennial Audience,” where we discussed the three main cultural forces that have impacted millennial learning trends. Today’s post is about the first cultural factor: the internet.

Millennials are the first generation of digital natives. They grew up in the age of the internet, where answers to any question are available in a matter of seconds. A quick Google search will take you to the exact information you need – rarely will you even have to click to the second page of search results. For millennials, this instant access to information and knowledge is all they’ve known. Your training content should reflect this.

Learners should be able to keyword search your courses and lessons for the exact information they need in that moment. Specific content should be easy to find and simple to navigate. It’s a good idea to set up a learning library for this audience so they are free to navigate the information as needed.

Millennials are used to searching the internet and finding information at their own pace. Imagine searching Google for a tutorial about how to assemble an IKEA dresser, and a message pops up saying “Before you learn how to assemble a dresser, let’s start small and complete the training on how to assemble a nightstand first.” It would be frustrating, wouldn’t it? That first lesson isn’t even applicable to your situation!

Online training can sometimes feel like that. Some training content is set up in a progression – where a learner has to complete or pass one level in order to access the next. While that tactic may work for some, it may actually serve a millennial learner better to have information open and free to navigate as needed. That way they don’t get frustrated having to work through lessons they don’t feel are necessary to solve their specific problem – an issue that could easily prompt them to leave the training altogether.