The road to become an effective eLearner means gain the ability to use technology to her own advantage e.g. in order to able to create her own personal learning environment. Here is one of the fields where generation differences are shown as was indicated in this article-series first part. In this article component three and four on how tutors as well as eLearning-developers can motivate eLearners will be described.
3. Motivate with technology
Developers of eLearning-courses choose of practical as well as user-friendliness-reasons to limit which web-tools that can be used. Too often eLearners personal wishes are not taken into account. This is an issue that could be experienced as an obstacle. Partly since you have to learn new tools where the tutor is important, and partly that the eLearner’s ”own” tools are not sanctioned by the system. eLearners want to be able to rely on a mix of formal and informal tools and channels.
Another aspect to keep in mind as an online-course-developer is that online learners prefer web-tools and services that can be used in all hardware like smartphones, tablets and PCs, also independently of operating-system. With this background the vision of the virtual classroom has a formal core with professionally made interactive courses, but at the same time is open flexible, in other words a stepping stone to informal learning. The platform should be built for not only interactivity but also reactivity. This flexibility is something that all generations rank high, traditionalists born before 1947, baby-boomers born between 1947 and 1964, generation X born between 1965 and 1980 and generation Y/NML born after 1980.
4. Motivate with localisation and timing
The world changing very fast where continual learning is required to keep up with the development. The method for learning that seems to be best adapted in this environment takes place online. The online-course-tutor’s primary task would be to motivate the eLearner to make progress in the course. Many distractions in the working-life and everyday-life could be obstacles.
The tutor in an eLearning-environment becomes less the classrooms centre, but instead take on the role as mentor and coach. If the eLearner complement with the added value from her informal network the she has a good ground for an effective learning. Here are some small but still noticeable generational-differences. Older generations prefer more formal course-based teaching while the younger more prefer a model that is driven by their inner driving-forces and a mentor for guidance. Here the old industrial society’s instrumental vision of knowledge stands against classical educational ideal. Little ironically it is the younger generations that most strongly prefer the latter. However, all generations in the choice between the first or the second, prefer the classical ideal as the growing-ground, according to several studies.