by A. Maslanka | Feb. 19, 2019 | 5 Min Read
State of the Modern Learner
Welcome to 2019 – a time when people expect to be entertained. Why should their training be any different? Think about it, according to The Game Agency, on average we consume nearly 11 hours of media each day and shift our attention between our smartphones, tablets, and computers 21 times every hour. With that in mind, it makes sense that your training should grab your learners’ attention quickly, hold it long enough to make an impact, and above all else, be so entertaining that they want and enjoy it – even with seemingly infinite media options at their fingertips.
Distracted… but Want to Learn
Who are these modern learners that are overwhelmed with entertainment choices all throughout the day? They’re consuming information in shorter, more personalized, more engaging ways. When seeking new information, they’re likely to Google something or check out a video on YouTube, but that’s typically done with the intention of using that information right away. What if the knowledge needs to be retained for an extended period of time? Consider, 50% of information is forgotten within one hour without some type of reinforcement training.
They also have short attention spans, crave instant gratification, and are distracted – but not too distracted to want to learn. According to Learnkit, 53% of employees feel they could do their job better if they had better training and per Intercall 47% want the freedom to complete that training at their own pace. It follows that in order for training to make sense for the naturally distracted lifestyle of the modern learner, it has to be:
- High quality
- Available on demand
Competing for Attention
So, when it seems everyone is fighting for the modern learner’s attention, how do we train? With so much time already spent looking at screens, what if you could reach your learners through any and all of their devices? Better yet, what if you could use those devices to teach them while simultaneously entertaining and delighting them? Good news: you can – and you should.
Fun and Games!
For the greatest impact, ensure that your training includes gamification and games that:
- Transmit information simply
- Grab your learner’s attention
- Keeps them engaged
- And perhaps above all else, helps them reinforce and retain what they’ve learned
Games not only provide an engaging learning experience that can change behaviors and improves comprehension, but thanks to the fun they provide, learners often want to continue learning and thereby reinforce their training.
Secondly, games provide a competitive element that drives action, sustains focus, and heightens attention. Consider these statistics:
- The average learner will play a game three times during training.
- On average, they will experience a 64% increase in knowledge from the beginning to the end of a game.
- Each gameplay session lasts an average of six minutes.
Lastly, training with games provides you with robust reporting and analytics capabilities. Each game can be used to collect player data to help you identify knowledge gaps – thereby enabling you to rework training content to maximize effectiveness.
Modern learners have minimal time to devote to training. They’re working from several locations and expect to access information on-demand. Luckily for them, games are a form of micro-learning that provide quick, compelling training that can be accessed anywhere, anytime. This form of training is ideal for the modern learner’s short attention span as the information taught is bite-sized and easy-to-digest. And when people are entertained, they focus and retain information more easily.
Additionally, if an experience is enjoyable, people naturally return for more. Training so good that it compels a return visit increases the odds of retention (and the amount of information that can be retained) – and that’s exactly what the distracted, modern learner needs in 2019.