Results Show Blended Learning is the Best Approach for Workers of All Ages
Global learning technology leader D2L today announced the results of a survey conducted by Wainhouse Research, which uncovered workplace learning preferences among 2,000 of today’s knowledge workers. The survey reveals that, in some areas, youngest and oldest workers surprisingly have similar preferences when it comes to workplace learning.
The study found that out of nine different learning methods, coaching and mentoring appeals most to the oldest (50+ years old) and youngest learners (21-25 years old) out of all age groups. In fact, a substantial proportion of the youngest group value human interactions even more highly than some of their older colleagues, which runs contrary to the prevailing view that younger workers prefer to do everything online. Learners of all ages also expressed interest in all nine learning methods surveyed, which reinforces the necessity of offering a blended learning approach as part of Learning and Development programs.
“This study reveals what methods are best across different age groups, but ultimately shows that using a mix of learning methods will benefit organizations the most,” said Charles Denault, Senior Analyst at Wainhouse Research. “Organizations can benefit from offering both in-person training and online learning with modern tools like D2L’s Brightspace, and should begin to strategize how to leverage the preferences and skills of each age group to create the right programs for their employees.”
Finding the right blend of learning methods in the workplace
Out of nine possible learning methods, instructor-led training (ILT), short-clip video, and coaching and mentoring are the top three learning approaches cited by respondents. Younger workers (aged between 21 and 32) rate live ILT, short-clip videos, coaching or mentoring and conversations with SMEs as their top preferences. However, in general, respondents under 50 score ILT significantly lower than those 50 and over. Short-clip video ranks similarly across all age groups, though older learners demonstrate slightly less interest. Informal conversations with SMEs ranks highest with youngest learners (21 to 32 years old).
“Organizations have much to gain by finding the right mix of online learning and in-person interaction in their learning programs,” said Jeremy Auger, CSO of D2L. “Brightspace Capture is a standout tool in this regard, helping organizations facilitate the range of methods workplace learners say they prefer the most. By making it simple to capture, edit and share live or on-demand video of learning sessions and presentations, organizations can provide access to learning materials according to workers’ preferences with ease – helping to create a more engaging, convenient and flexible learning experience that supports improved productivity and performance.”
Other key findings of the report include:
- As age increases, informal conversation with an SME becomes less of a top priority. Yet counter to expectations, the 50+ group shows greater interest in informal conversation with SMEs than those in mid-career.
- Short-clip video is the second-most preferred approach to learning for those who are mid-career (33 to 49), behind only ILT.
- Nearly half of the youngest workers (21 to 32) strongly agree that they have the skills to create a video good enough to share with others at work, while 12 percent of those aged 50 or above rate their own skills in this way.
Wainhouse Research conducted the survey of 2,004 knowledge workers in October 2017 to gauge use, deployment, and perceptions of web communications and learning technology platforms. Within that survey, Wainhouse fielded a set of questions specifically related to the preference for learning methods as well as specific applications within enterprise learning.
- To learn more about the study, visit /resources/webinars/employees-want-build-strategy-modern-learning/.
- Find out more about how D2L transforms learning at /enterprise/.
 Live Instructor-led Class/In-Person or Virtual Classroom; Coaching or Mentoring in-person or via video or web; On-demand short clip videos; Self-directed (Online search or browse); Simulations or computer-based training; Informal conversation with a subject-matter expert; Online collaborative workspaces including discussions and sharing of documents/videos; On-demand recording of class; Books, trade journals or written materials.
D2L’s Brightspace is a cloud-based learning platform that makes learning easy, flexible and smart. Brightspace is not like a traditional Learning Management System (LMS) – it is easy to create engaging courses and content, integrate video, personalize learning, capture and share expertise across the organization, and supports all mobile devices. Plus, Brightspace enables the future of learning with adaptive learning, intelligent agents, course interactives, full support for competency-based learning and world-leading learning analytics. Our clients report improved productivity, performance growth, lower turnover of employees, greater engagement and ultimately better business outcomes.
D2L believes learning is the foundation upon which all progress and achievement rests. Working closely with organizations globally, D2L has transformed the way millions of people learn online and in the classroom. Learn more about D2L for schools, higher education and businesses at www.D2L.com.
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