To answer why millennials prefer online learning as opposed to more traditional methods, we need only review their characteristics and backgrounds as a group. It is said that millennials are a lost generation. It makes sense if you compare this generation to the famous “Lost Generation” that Hemingway, Faulkner or Steinbeck belonged to. Similarly, this generation had a thriving childhood but then the crisis burst their bubble and for years they have lived with pessimism and uncertainty for the future.
Faced with poor job prospects, many millennials have continued with their education while waiting for opportunities to arise. Many have chosen online learning, swapping out classrooms for flexible schedules and choosing blended learning methods, flipped classrooms or self-learning over traditional methods. This is pointed out in the study Milestones and Millennials: A Perfect Pairing–Competency-Based Medical Education and the Learning Preferences of Generation Y, published by the Mayo Clinic, a renowned non-profit medical center in the U.S.
Millennials have had to combine work and study more than any other of the previous generations, who primarily focused on one or the other. But this is not the only reason, nor the main one, why they have chosen a blended or online education.
6 Reasons Why Millennials Prefer Online Learning
Millennials—those born between the early 80s and mid-90s—have grown up surrounded by technology. They are used to big technological changes and adapt quickly to updates. With music, for example, they have gone from cassette tapes to CDs to MP3s to now streaming music, and with that, the respective devices.
E-learning lets them study using online platforms that include digital multimedia and interactive contents—technology they are already familiar with—which provide them with more immersive and interesting learning.
Greater flexibility and mobility
Online learning allows you to have a flexible schedule. Only then is it possible to strike a balance between education and daily life, which is totally different from previous generations who thought leisure and travel were not that important, despite what some sectors try to sell with the invention of words like ‘nesting.’ Scheduling freedom enables them to progress at an individual pace, as quickly or slowly as needed, without having to depend on a group. Learning is far more immersive, engaging and personalized.
This new world they have grown up in is an interactive world that calls for engagement (chats, social networks, videogames, MMO, etc.). It is therefore logical that the most sought after content by millennials and, therefore, by the new generations that will follow them, is fully interactive and will allow them to change from the passive role as a listener to an active and engaging role. They want content that includes multimedia resources such as audio recordings, videos, voice recognition, chatting, forums, etc.
Millennials have practically grown up alongside the development of the videogame industry; understandably, this type of audiovisual media has had an undeniable influence on them. Applying certain rules prevalent in video games to create incentives in education can only be a good thing.
As a generation that has heard and used the word ‘globalization’ often, they have learned to make the most of it. The world is more connected than ever and this makes many more resources available in many different formats that traditional teaching is not ready for, but millennials are.
In recent years, the internet and social media have brought about a change in the way many industries and sectors will proceed and the requirements that this entails (languages, programming, creativity). We need new professionals who can undertake these recent challenges; online learning is the first to offer regular courses, postgraduate and master’s courses that focus on these skills. Traditional learning is not able to update its curriculum that quickly.
Taking all this into account, it is not difficult to conclude that millennials want an education that utilizes digital media and is interactive, engaging, flexible and relatable. This is the kind of learning that Dexway offers with its e-learning language courses; they promote a natural and progressive progress and have fully interactive content. Dexway courses offer a multi-device platform that allows you to work on your courses without even connecting to the internet (by downloading the app).
You may also like: