Gen Y or the “millennials” are becoming the dominant demographic in the corporate learning
population. Born between 1982 and 2004, millennials are the under 45’ in the work force.

Is that really significant? When you consider they are the first ’digital natives’, and have always had
access to computers and television, so it is very significant. They will have different expectations
of learning than their predecessors, the baby boomers. I, a confessed boomer (1946-1964),
always like to have the paper copy of the learning materials so I can make notes. My daughter, a
millennial, can’t be bothered with the hard copy as long as she can get it online when she needs
it. Millennials already outnumber the boomers in the workforce so we need to pay more attention
to what supports their learning.

Millennials expect to get the information they need online whenever they need it. Over a series of
posts we will explore how to adapt learning design to accommodate this demographic. We can
start by looking at the evolution of the high school and college environments to see how they
have adapted to the changing needs.

The Flipped Classroom

The flipped classroom is one evolution in learning delivery that millennials have experienced
before they joined the work force and it has shaped their learning expectations. So what has been
flipped? In a nut shell, the traditional lectures are reviewed before the classroom event and the
assignments (homework) are done during the classroom event – they have been flipped from the
traditional classroom lecture followed by homework. For those who want more details check out

Wikipedia and

In the business learning environment, the flipped classroom can be a component of a blended
learning solution. If you consider FKA’s Systematic Learning Process

the Presentation phase can be delivered as self-directed pre-work before attending the facilitated
learning event (face-to-face or online) where most of the time can then be spent on application
and feedback. For millennials this means they can watch a video of the lecture and download the
materials before attending the live session. In the live session the focus is on applying the content
and discussing how to integrate the new skills and knowledge into their jobs.

In retrospect, FKA ‘flipped’ the classroom without realizing we were doing it. As we deliver
more of our programs in a virtual classroom we typically record the online sessions so they are
available for anyone to review later and for those who missed the live event. The learners who
missed the live session, watch the recording and then have a live online coaching session with
the facilitator to confirm their understanding and complete the assignments. It appears that
recorded virtual classroom presentations, materials available online, and scheduled live ‘coached
learning’ sessions are going to be an increasingly popular learning model to support our
millennial learners.

Jim Sweezie
VP Research and Product Development