Gen Xers prefer a self directed learning environment They respond best to

Gen xers prefer a self directed learning environment

This preview shows page 16 - 18 out of 47 pages.

Gen Xers prefer a self-directed learning environment. They respond best to training methods that allow them to work at their own pace: videos, CD-ROMs, and Web-based training. Gen Xers are highly motivated learners who view training as a way to increase their employability. They like to learn by doing, through experimentation and feedback. They respond best to training materials that provide visual stimulation with relatively few words. Although they are techno-saavy, millenniums like to learn by working alone and help- ing others. They prefer a blended learning approach that involves self-paced online learn- ing for acquiring basic concepts, ideas, and knowledge followed by group activities and
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154 Part 2 Designing Training hands-on practice in which they work with others on questions, cases, and role plays. 29 They are motivated to learn skills and acquire knowledge that will help make their work- ing lives less stressful and increase their employability. They place a high value on money so linking training to monetary incentives may facilitate learning. Nexters (like Gen Xers) prefer entertaining training activities. Training needs to be interactive and to utilize music, art, and games. UPS was experiencing much higher than normal failure rates among its millennium drivers. The initial idea was to train millenniums using video games and sim- ulations. However, needs assessment found that while these employees wanted to use tech- nology in their training they also wanted hands-on training in the skills needed to be successful drivers. As a result, UPS’s new Integrad learning facility for driver trainees in Maryland includes online learning, podcasts, and videos, along with classroom training and simulations involving driving delivery trucks and delivering packages on the streets of a fictitious town named Clarksville. 30 The potential for generational differences to affect learning suggests that trainers need to be aware of trainees’ ages before the session so they can try to create a learning envi- ronment and develop materials that meet their preferences. Recent research summarizing the findings of studies on the influence of age on performance in training found that self- paced training had the largest influence on training performance of trainees over 40 years of age. 31 Self-pacing gives older trainees time to assume responsibility for their learning, to focus on what is required to learn, and to understand the training and its importance. Also, training that occurred in small groups was advantageous for older trainees. Most training groups probably have a mix of generations. Employees can learn much from cross- generation interaction if it is managed well. Trainees of all age groups need to feel that par- ticipation in the session through questioning, providing answers, and discussing issues is valued and rewarded. If a group of trainees includes all generations, the training must take a blended approach—use examples that include people from different generations and use
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