Get Off My Lawn, Millennials! An Infographic for Training Different Generations in the Workplace

This article came across my twitter feed this morning and says everything I’ve been saying and thinking about “generational” stuff in the work place.

Train Like a Champion

By now you’ve probably seen some sort of infographic or article or attended a webinar or training session on characteristics of different generations in the workplace.

I’ve attempted to put together an infographic (below) that details how learning and development professionals can approach instructional design and facilitation for learners from a variety of age groups.


There’s only one tiny problem with this infographic.

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pushback on pRewoRk

Here’s an article I found very insightful about the design of virtual learning spaces.

While I’m not a fan of WBT, I do like virtual learning.  I like flipped classrooms.  I like getting it said in a 2 minute video and moving on.    What I like about the article above is that it promotes the use of prework as a flipped classroom experience, and then allows the instructional designer to really do something creative in the virtual environment to make sure people learn and apply and do.

But that’s not reality sometimes.  Reality is that we get pushback on adding prework to a design, sometimes.  And I’m not stupid, I know that some people don’t do the prework, but I also feel that in an adult learning situation, the adult has to take ownership of their own learning and come to the table prepared to learn.

So how do you solve this?


As an adult and a learning professional, I’m firmly in the camp of continuing on when someone shows up unprepared, while not allowing that to cause undue work on the facilitator.  I’d prefer not to acquiesce to those showing up unprepared, or to remove prework or to lock it down through an LMS; I would rather let people fail and struggle.  Or admit that it didn’t affect them at all, in some instances.  I would go so far as to ask “Did you complete the prework?” on a Level 2 assessment to see if this question influences the knowledge transfer and behaviour we expect.

Which means, as an instructional designer – I’m designing both the flipped classroom for the learner and the experience for the facilitator.   That’s the nut worth cracking:  helping facilitators become the owners of the experience once it is designed, and not at the mercy of the learners attending.

why i hate deveLoping wbt

I’m currently assigned to an amazing project that has some real potential to deliver results.  One of those “gift” projects that level one and two assessments will be easy to do, and level three and four assessments will prove behaviour change and return on investment.  I will be one of those lucky instructional designers who smile knowingly when discussing kirkpatrick and have a real life example of a time we used four levels of evaluation.

But my GOSH I hate developing wbt.

Our level ones are “baked”, but I have to create a level two in wbt and publish it to our LMS.  This is the part of my job that does not cause me satisfaction (the entering it into wbt part – the writing of the assessment I enjoyed!).  But I did it, using a template, and it looks fabulous.  It’s lovely.  I even QA’ed it this morning, with a near perfect score.  There’s just one tiny little thing wrong but this one tiny little thing is the exact absolute reason I hate (developing) wbt.

Side rant:  wbt sucks as a learning delivery channel.  I don’t like it, I think we should avoid it, and I have never learned anything useful by popup text boxes and avatars.  Anything you could learn in a wbt could be better presented in a video.  And quicker.  And less stupidly fake looking.

Back to my current issue.  The one tiny little issue is that during the 10 questions, the forward button stays enabled.  Adult learning principles tell me that’s probably okay, let the adult learner do whatever they want – it’s their quiz to fail or pass or do over a hundred times.  However, in the LMS it ends up returning a null response to this and it ends up freezing.  Really – if it happens (which is unlikely) the user is likely to shut it down and try again.  It’s not that big of a deal, but it isn’t elegant.

So I went into the files and tried to fix it. We have an advanced script to run that hides the forward button.  Awesome!  I applied that and tried again.  The downside of this course of action is that the forward button is hidden from all question slides.  So then the user must somehow “know” to use the submit button instead.  Not very elegant.

And worse, if the back button is disabled, so that learners cannot go backward, the wbt goes forward when the user hits the back button because the entire screen works like a hot spot.  Yikes.

I finally fixed these issues and  republished.  The forward button is disabled, the back button is enabled, and the entire thing scores properly and navigates as best as expected.  Of course, all the spacing has been ruined so I had to go in and fix that.  Republish.  Fix something else.  Republish.

8 hours later, I think I have a viable wbt assessment.  And strong hatred for this delivery channel.