5 Best Practices for Creating E-Learning Courses for Digital Natives
A growing percentage of the workforce in the UAE and Saudi Arabia are digital natives, i.e., employees who have grown up with digital technology, so are very familiar with using phones, computers, and the internet. On the surface, e-learning might appear to be the ideal training approach for digital natives.
E-learning can be a good option, but it’s important to get your strategy right while developing the course in a way that will appeal to these younger generations who have been using technology from a young age.
We’ll outline five best practices for creating e-learning courses for digital natives in this blog. But first, it’s important to avoid making a common assumption.
Don’t Assume a Digital Native is Tech Savvy
It is often assumed that being a digital native and being tech-savvy is the same thing. They are not. Just because an employee is comfortable using their phone, social media platforms, and messaging apps doesn’t mean they are tech-savvy. In fact, they might struggle just as much with technology as older generations who grew up without the benefit of easy access to phones, computers, and the internet.
The focus when thinking about digital natives should be on how they use technology, not their level of technical competence. What types of content do digital natives consume? What do digital natives like to do with technology and what keeps them engaged? These are the considerations you should think about when developing e-learning courses where digital natives will be the main or only audience.
Our five best practices will provide a good foundation for engaging digital natives with your e-learning content.
Best Practices for Engaging Digital Natives With E-Learning Courses
Connect the Training to a Purpose
Generations that come under the digital native description are largely purpose driven. They are interested in their own purpose and the company that they work for. Therefore, it’s important to appeal to this sense of purpose by explaining why the training is important both from the perspective of the organisation as well as the employee as an individual.
It is also beneficial to explain why the training is necessary and what you want to achieve, in addition to explaining how the employee will benefit. Clearly setting out your expectations is important, too. This should include expectations in relation to the training and the changes that should take place after the training is completed, i.e., how should the employee implement what they have learned in the training.
Digital natives consume a lot of video content on multiple apps and websites, from social media platforms to the messaging apps they use to communicate with friends and family. It is beneficial to tap into the appeal of video by including video content in your e-learning courses.
Video should only be used where it benefits the learning experience, i.e., don’t use video when an alternative would be a more effective way of explaining the topic. That said, include as much video as you can.
The videos you include don’t have to be ultra-slick, and they shouldn’t be overly corporate or stuffy. A more natural, conversational, and friendly approach is usually best, but quality should never be compromised. As a result, it is important to ensure high production standards are maintained.
Digital natives are familiar with playing games on their devices. You can use this familiarity to boost engagement with your e-learning course. Gamified elements can include everything from interactive activities within the e-learning course to badges or rewards that learners can earn as they progress and improve their skills.
Embrace Mobile Learning
The device most commonly associated with digital natives is the mobile phone, so it makes sense to develop e-learning courses that work well on mobile devices. Digital natives will be comfortable with the functionality of accessing and then interacting with the course if you implement a mobile learning strategy. Learners will also feel more empowered, particularly if you allow them to complete the course at a time that best suits them.
In other words, there are multiple benefits to using a mobile learning strategy when you are seeking to engage digital natives with e-learning content.
Integrate Social Media
Digital natives are often more engaged with social media than they are with games or other digital technologies. As mentioned previously, you should embrace characteristics like this to maximise engagement with digital natives. This means integrating social media elements into your e-learning courses. Examples include:
- Making it possible for learners to interact with each other using social media
- Letting learners share ideas related to the course via social media
- Encouraging learners to share their training progress and successes via social media
The Importance of Quality
The five best practices outlined above will help you engage digital natives with the e-learning content you create. There is one final consideration that is beneficial to mention – the importance of quality. Most digital natives will spend a significant amount of time every day or week using digital technologies, and they will have been doing so from a very young age. As a result, they demand quality – quality in terms of design, performance, messaging, and more.
Ensuring the highest standards of quality in e-learning design will enhance the connection you make with digital natives while also maximising the performance of the courses you create.