Millennial Learning: The Rise of Learning Technologies and Innovations


ADEC Innovations Knowledge Management advances Learning Technologies and InnovationsIt is crucial to understand what millennial learning is all about, especially amidst the world’s varying opinions about the millennial generation. Some consider Generation Y as a lazy and entitled group that lacks a proper work ethic, but despite all these presumptions, millennials are slowly filling up the global workforce, and the need to engage them in training is crucial to ensuring their efficiency in the workplace.

Understanding Millennial Learning

In 2015, Pew Research released a study showing that majority of the US labor force is made up of individuals within the age range of 18-33. This data is significant for companies and learning institutions as this gives them insight into how they can deliver better learning and training experiences to this unique set of learners.

Because millennials were raised differently compared to their Gen X and Baby Boomer colleagues, a different approach must also be taken when it comes to interacting with them in the classroom.

According to Dalton State College’s Dr. Christy Price, there is a huge gap between what’s being taught in the classroom and what millennial learners are actually picking up from the lessons. In her research, she discovered that millennials learned differently compared to those not part of Generation Y.

The 5Rs below, as coined by Dalton, are effective in engaging millennial learners in any form of learning activity, whether in an academic or workforce setting.

Millennials will more likely trust and listen to an instructor that shows a personal interest in their achievements. They prefer engaging with someone they have strong connections with.

They are not used to authoritarian-style teaching, and will only follow instructions if they know the reason behind it.

Millennials do not prefer a formal atmosphere in the classroom. They prefer instructors who know how to create a warm and laid-back environment.

They are interested in learning that is presented in a manner that highlights its relevance in their day-to-day lives.

Research-based Methods
The most effective way to cater to the learning needs of this generation is by making use of modern teaching methods that implement creative and entertaining tools and techniques. Variety of formats and visuals is an important key to capturing their attention.

Millennial Learning Traits and Suitable Learning Strategies

By knowing the right methods for millennial learning, it becomes easier to decide on the best strategies to use to help capture their attention and motivate them to participate in class.  According to an eLearning industry article by Elisabeth Arellano, the three learning strategies most preferred by millennials include mobile learning, gamification and video-based training.

Although these recommendations veer away from traditional teaching methods, it does produce results that show just how vital technology is in communicating with millennial learners in the classroom. Information from the Florida Institute of Technology supports this, as they identified various Gen Y learning traits, which include:

  • Being more attuned to visual learning
  • Having a preference for technology when learning due to their exposure to various technological innovations growing up
  • Having a short attention span
  • Enjoying communication through social media platforms and SMS
  • Exhibiting openness to collaboration
  • Needing instant feedback

These learner traits have opened doors for various learning innovations such as Learning Management Systems, Virtual Reality, Augmented Learning and Blended Learning, which are continuously revolutionizing the learning landscape. The integration of technology and the application of better instructional design are now necessary for developing learning content specifically targeted towards the ever-changing learning requirements of millennials.

ADEC Innovations Knowledge Management is a global innovator in the educational services industry. We bring sustainable and customized learning solutions to facilitate both professional and academic development. Dial +63 2 7750632 or visit to learn about our various learning and development solutions that can best cater to your millennial learners.