Eight seconds. That’s all you have. Studies have shown that the average Gen Z attention span is a mighty eight seconds. Eight seconds to grab their attention, and keep it. But we can’t make elearning that’s only eight seconds long, so what messages should we take from this?
Firstly, let me start by saying that age is just a number, and Gen Z can be just as much a mindset as a prescriptive age bracket; so when I am referring to this group of individuals, it doesn’t reflect age, but more ways of working and thinking.
Microlearning is the way forward
Gen Z has been brought up on news through push notifications and opinions in 140 characters or less. A desire for instant gratification has never been stronger than it is now. Asking them to spend an hour at a time on an elearning module isn’t conducive to memorable, engaging learning.
Quality over quantity is the way to engage; stripping away the fluff and focusing on the really practical content means you can do a lot more with a lot less.
Designs are the key
A generation that’s grown up surrounded by modern systems isn’t going to tolerate elearning that looks like it’s been created on a Windows XP desktop in the mid-2000s. The way to engage them is to create content that feels modern, and like the content they’d actually choose to look at outside of work.
Vibrant designs that incorporate editorial style images and high impact video which really breaks the mould makes elearning look and feel like less of a chore it otherwise could. And that’s half the battle.
Intuition and response
If they can’t use their phone to do it, then don’t bother. If it’s not a phone, it’s a tablet, and at a push, a laptop. Elearning that can be completed across lots of devices makes sense when catering to this discerning audience. This means they can access content anytime, anywhere. A generation used to information at their fingertips, only a Google search away… after all, didn’t they all spend their teenage years glued to smartphones?
Getting the content across to them
No-one wants a learning platform that’s going to remind them of the horror of having to complete ‘MyMaths’ courses in secondary school. Learning Management Systems will manage when people complete learning, but Gen Z’ers are after something different.
Something sleek, something new, something like our Learning Experience Platform (LXP). That focuses on self-directed, social learning, which most audiences are more likely to engage with. If it looks good and lets learners pick and choose their own learning path as much as possible, then you’re on to a winner.
Activities and gratification
Everyone loves the chance to show their knowledge in new and exciting ways. But that doesn’t mean you need to create overly complex gamification, full of shiny, intangible prizes. The generation that’s grown up on Buzzfeed quiz after Buzzfeed quiz is after something different. Analytical or self-evaluation quizzes are going to grab their attention and encourage more active engagement and knowledge retention.
But also keep things simple
It’s one thing to look and feel ultra-modern, and another to just throw gimmicks at your learners in the hope that something sticks. Clear, simple pathways through core content will make sure your learning is easy to follow, else those eight seconds of attention will quickly drop to zero.
If all of these boxes are ticked, you can expect this ever-growing audience to engage with your elearning. In fact, this isn’t limited to those Gen Z’ers out there, but everyone. The way we consume information is changing, the way we learn is changing, so do something about it.