Who are the Millennials? Teaching the Net GenerationPresentation Transcript
1 Who are the Millennials? Teaching the Net Generation Coming of age with the Internet and other technology has shaped a new kind of student and learner, one with expectations beyond the traditional classroom setting. In this session, characteristics of Millennial students, born 1982-2002, will be reviewed. Harper student demographics will also be shared. Faculty are encouraged to use this session as a place for discussing their own observations as we work together toward reaching, teaching and inspiring this new generation of students.www.harpercollege.edu/~kfournie/seminars.htm Wednesday, October 7, 20099:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m. X 250 Kim Fournier Image source: www.mybrightzone.org
2 Who are the Millennials? Teaching the Net Generation Kim Fournier, Librarian, Associate Professor C.A.S. Library and Information Science, 2008 Final Project: Information Literacy and the Net Generation: A Community College Perspective Librarians are confronted with new challenges as the Net Generation, (Millennials, Gen Y, etc.) overestimate their information seeking skills and underestimate their need for assistance. Information literacy is the mission of academic librarians “Despite coming of age with the Internet and other technology, many college students lack the information and communication technology literacy skills necessary to navigate, evaluate, and use the overabundance of information available today.” [Katz, Irvin. Information Technology and Libraries26.3 (2007) p.3] Movie Trailer: Millennials Strike Back!
October isNational Information Literacy Month President Obama declares October National Information Literacy Monthon 10/1/2009. “National Information Literacy Awareness Month highlights the need for all Americans to be adept in the skills necessary to effectively navigate the Information Age.” “In addition to the basic skills of reading, writing, and arithmetic, it is equally important that our students are given the tools required to take advantage of the information available to them. The ability to seek, find, and decipher information can be applied to countless life decisions, whether financial, medical, educational, or technical.” “An informed and educated citizenry is essential to the functioning of our modern democratic society, and I encourage educational and community institutions across the country to help Americans find and evaluate the information they seek, in all its forms.” 3
4 Defining Information Literacy “A recent study found that ‘more than 75% of students at 2-year colleges and more than 50% of students at 4-year colleges do not score at the proficient level of literacy”.(American Institutes for Research, 2006. New study of the literacy of college students finds some are graduating with only basic skills.) Image source: http://www.otterbein.edu/ The Association of College and Research Libraries defines information literacy as: “The set of skills needed to find, retrieve, analyze, and use information.”
5 The American Library Association and Information Literacy Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education offer an explanation of what information literate students should be able to do:
Determine the extent of information
Access the needed information
effectively and efficiently Image source: www.physics.utoronto.ca
Evaluate information and its sources critically
Incorporate selected information into one’s knowledge base
Use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose
Understand the economic, legal and social issues surrounding the use
of information, and access and use information ethically and legally.
6 ACRL Information Literacy Standards Image source: http://www.library.fau.edu/depts/ref/instsrv/instsrv.htm
7 Outcomes Assessment and Assessment Tools Because U.S. accrediting organizations differ in their educational requirements, librarians should investigate whether or not information literacy is recognized by the accrediting organizations associated with their colleges and universities. “…[T]he Middle States Commission on Higher Education (2003) looks for evidence that information literacy skills are integrated within an institutions curriculum… In contrast, the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association does not have specific information literacy requirements” (Radcliff, et al 8). “More institutions of higher education are coming to understand what information literacy is and the value that it adds to the curriculum” (Stern 113).
Library research instruction FY09 8
9 Information Literacy Standards and Initiatives The IAI General Education Core Curriculum Course Criteria read: “The foundation skills of communication (reading, writing, speaking, and listening), critical thinking and analysis/synthesis, quantification, computer use, and the use of resources (e.g., the library) should be embedded in everygeneral education course” (State of Illinois 6).
10 Introducing the Net Generation Research suggests that every generation has different attributes; these traits can be proven/disproved and are often debated. As each new generation shows itself in school, college and eventually the workforce, researchers make numerous calculations, and generalizations, regarding the cohort’s limitations and advantages. Generational images are stereotypes. Image source: http://www.travolution.co.uk/ In an interesting piece from EDUCAUSE Quarterly (2007), George Lorenzo et al. point out that more adult students are attending college and not all students fit the Net Generation profile. There can be quite a mix of students in the community college classroom, with a range of information literacy skills. “Today’s students are not just the traditional-age Net Generation, nor have they all had the benefit of state-of-the-art, ubiquitous technology… As more students enroll in higher education, faculty and librarians interact with students with a broader ranger of backgrounds and expectations” (Lorenzo et al. 8)
11 Introducing the Net Generation In a recent Chronicle article, “The Millennial Muddle: How stereotyping students became a thriving industry and a bundle of contradictions” Eric Hoover writes: “Figuring out young people has always been a chore, but today it's also an industry. Colleges and corporations pay experts big bucks to help them understand the fresh-faced hordes that pack the nation's dorms and office buildings.” “As in any business, there's variety as well as competition. One speaker will describe youngsters as the brightest bunch of do-gooders in modern history. Another will call them self-involved knuckleheads. Depending on the prediction, this generation either will save the planet, one soup kitchen at a time, or crash-land on a lonely moon where nobody ever reads.” Image source: http://www.travolution.co.uk/
12 Introducing the Net Generation "The Cooperative Institutional Research Program at the University of California at Los Angeles has conducted an annual survey of college freshmen since 1966. The survey, which provides a longitudinal view of trends, suggests that many changes among students happen gradually, not abruptly.” Image source: http://www.travolution.couk/ “The survey complicates the Millennials theory in numerous ways. According a recent report by the program, "American Freshmen: Forty Year Trends, "today's students are not significantly busier, more confident, or more positive than they were in recent decades. Though more say they want to contribute to society, more also cite ‘being well off financially’ as a goal. They are only slightly less likely to say they want to go to college to get a job, make money, or go to graduate school. They are not any more or less cooperative or competitive, nor do they seem more interested in developing a meaningful philosophy of life.“ (Hoover, Millennial Muddle)
13 Introducing the Net Generation Don Tapscott first coined the term “Net Generation” in his 1998 book. He categorizes the Net Gen as persons born 1977-1997 Tapscott cites the Net Gen as being independent, while Howe and Strauss cite them as team players/borderline conformists, with helicopter parents coaching every step of the way. Tapscott on: What makes the “Net Generation” think so differently? Generational research can be class bound and evade the diverse socioeconomic, racial and ethic profiles of people in America’s schools and workforce. In the community college we see that the digital divide still exists. Generational forecasts should be read with a healthy amount of skepticism, as “one size” or one profile does not fit all.
14 Fascination Generation Writers and critics are fascinated with this generation for a number of reasons. The first is demographics and size: The Net Generation is the most ethnically diverse generation to date. “…[O]ne in three is not Caucasian, one in five has an immigrant parent, one in ten has at least one parent who is not a U.S. citizen, and ninety percent of children under the age of twelve have friends of different ethnicities than their own” (Manuel, Teaching 197). “One in four currently lives in a single-parent household [and] three out of four have working mothers” (Manuel, Teaching 208). The Net Generation is 1/3 larger than the Baby Boomers and over three times the size of Generation X (Manuel, Teaching 195). There are over 90 million Millennials in the U.S.; that’s nearly 30% of the U.S. population (Howe and Strauss, Millennials Go 35).
15 Fascination Generation The Net Generation has been raised in what Howe and Strauss term, “the era of the wanted child” (Millennials Go, 27). The 1980’s rise in fertility treatments was vastly different from the 1970’s rise in contraceptive technology, abortion clinics and sterilization procedures. “Baby on Board” signs, child restraints, helmets and home products—from youth cell phones to vehicle surveillance GPS, this “wanted generation” has been protected more than any generation. Howe and Strauss cite key points escalating parental protection in Net Gen history. The first Tylenol scare in 1982 led to panic over trick or treating (Millennials Go 27). Tightened school security also resulted from school tragedies in the 1980’s. This generation grew up amid a sweeping national youth safety movement. A great deal of U.S. child wellbeing legislation since 1982.
16 Introducing the Net Generation Howe and Straussdescribe Millennial students as: Close to their parents (Era of the wanted child) Focused on grades and performance Intensely focused on the college admissions process Packing their resumes with extracurricular and summer activities Eager to volunteer for community service Talented in digital-mobile technologies Capable of multitasking and interested in interactive learning More interested in math and science, relative to the humanities (objective vs. subjective feedback/tests) Insistent on secure, regulated environments Respectful of norms and institutions Conventionally minded, verging on conformist-thinking Ethnically diverse, but less interested than their elders in questions of racial identity Majority female, but less interested than their elders in questions of gender identity.” (Howe and Strauss, Millennials Go 32) Image source: www.thetartan.org“Helicopter Parents are Hovering Beyond College.” 11/19/07
17 Introducing the Net Generation Students today are digital, social and multitask masters. They pay “continuous partial attention.” They are online all day seeking communication and virtual contact. Expressing themselves online is done so frequently and effortlessly, that it is not differentiated from face-to-face contact. They are accustomed to information arriving in instant video, audio and text extractions. They are used to processing an assortment of information coming from both the electronic and physical world simultaneously. “They have been raised in an environment of low academic standards but a strong emphasis on self-esteem.” (Fogarty, 370)
18 Introducing the Net Generation The Net Generation has grown up reading hypertext. To the Net Gen, print sources are less familiar, and more of a hassle, while the Web is considered convenient and reliable. Words have changed. Text message shorthand, phonetically spelling words, (e.g. because/BCOZ, enemy/NME, enough said/NUFF) and spelling words with numbers (e.g. “182” or “I hate you” and “02” meaning “my two cents worth”) is acceptable language. Few read or write for pleasure; and written correspondence as Boomers and Gen Xers know it, barely exists. Mailing something with a stamp for the Net Generation, is exceptionally dated. Image source: http://www.digital-literacy.eu “The Millennial Student” by Jeremy Brueck
On Multitasking 19 “The Millennial multitasker may have the ability to text, talk, do homework and listen to music, but that does not mean they are efficiently retaining information needed. Several studies gauging the effectiveness of multitasking and learning have shown that learning does suffer when one is attempting to process several layers of unrelated information at once. …although the multitasking [does not] necessarily harm short-term memory, it [does] cause the information to be more difficult to retrieve at a later time.” McAlister, Andrea "Teaching the Millennial Generation." American Music Teacher 58.7 (2009): 13-15.
On Multitasking 20 “Advancements in the field of neuroscience have given more insight into the reasons long-term memory suffers while multitasking. For a memory to be created, neural pathways must be formed through repetition. If the task is not reinforced within a certain time period, the pathway will disappear, and the task will need to be relearned.” “What does this teach us about our students? First, it shows that our multitasking students run the risk of learning more slowly than those who concentrate on a single activity.” McAlister, Andrea "Teaching the Millennial Generation." American Music Teacher 58.7 (2009): 13-15.
On Gadgets & Reading 21 “Mr. Bauerlein, a Chronicle writer and an English professor at Emory University, in Atlanta, is the author of The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future.” He writes, “Today's students, though blessed with limitless high-tech wonders, have squandered these tools, using computers mostly for their amusement—chatting, networking, and posting online updates about themselves.” “Mr. Bauerlein, 50, directed the survey reported in ‘Reading at Risk: A Survey of Literary Reading in America,’ published by the National Endowment for the Arts in 2004.” “The survey found a sharp decline in reading among all age groups between 1982 and 2002, and the largest drop was among people between 18 and 24. In The Dumbest Generation, he cited numerous other studies that affirmed that today's students were reading less and absorbing fewer facts than their predecessors had.” Hoover, Eric "The Millennial Muddle." Chronicle of Higher Education 56.8 (2009): A1-A34.
22 The Google Generation In an article titled Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants, Prensky boldly announces “Our students have changed radically. Today’s students are no longer the people our educational system was designed to teach.” (http://www.marcprensky.com/writing, July 2008). Students’ expectations have changed for both the face-to-face and online classroom. As more faculty choose to teach online, they realize that the analog classroom does not transfer well to digital space. Access to the Internet has opened the Net Gen’s world to one with few communication barriers. This generation wants to interface, and wants to build relationships in and outside the classroom. Learning is a social experience. Image source: University of Virginia magazine. www.uvamagazine.org
23 How to Teach & Reach the Net Gen “To capitalize on this need, faculty should encourage interaction both within and outside the classroom. Group work should be emphasized alongside required one-on-one meetings with professors. Students should be given the opportunity to interact with faculty and researchers outside the confines of the curriculum and to develop meaningful relationships with them” (Windham 5.7-5.8).
Post the syllabus online
Break up lectures with group work
Incorporate simulations, visualizations, role playing, multimedia
elements and interactive games for student engagement
Use video clips, podcasts and mini-demonstrations
Encourage student collaboration in and outside class
Mediate online discuss groups, blogs, forums, etc.
Consider the student’s study space outside the classroom’s four walls
Know your library – we have 24/7 chat, full-text databases, ebooks
digital videos and numerous online resources
Use the Center for Innovative Instruction to experiment with and
incorporate new technologies
24 How to Teach & Reach the Net Gen A few ideas/alternatives to lecture:
Instead of coming in with lesson plans that begin “Here are the three causes of [whatever], please take notes,” try “There are three main causes of [whatever it is]. You have 15 minutes to use your technology to find them, and then we’ll discuss what you’ve found.” From Marc Prensky’s “The Role of Technology, in teaching and the classroom” Published in Educational Technology, Nov-Dec 2008.
Use blogs for writing assignments and peer-critiques. Millennials are self publishing on a daily basis and enjoy social networking sites. Points could be awarded for genuine participation and peer assistance though these online support systems outside of class. (Use Blackboard’s “safe assign” and “self-peer assessment” tools.)
Use Blackboard’s chat functionality to establish peer relationships and support outside of the classroom. Try out Elluminate and other e-teaching tools, (see CII).
Clickers are another example of incorporating interactive technology with teaching. Clickers can create an interactive learning experience.
Connect students with professionals online: photographers, writers and researchers via email to receive critiques on their work (Pletka 80).
How to Teach & Reach the Net Gen
In Blackboard include a short biography, highlighting the faculty’s educational experience, role at the college and teaching interests. This content would satisfy the Net Gen’sdesire that teachers not only be approachable, but someone they could get to know.
“Active-learning can be difficult to do, especially in lecture classes with large enrollments and in courses with highly technical content. Students often comment that [active learning] activities not only make the course more interesting, but that they also help students better understand the material presented in lecture. ” (Colorado State Institute for learning & Teaching, http://tilt.colostate.edu/twt/)
“…create a learner-centered classroom …shift from seeing the classroom as teacher-driven and content-centered to student centered and process driven.” (McGlynn, 21)
The Google Generation CBS News Video 60 Minutes The Age Of The Millenials May 25, 2008 7:15 PM Replace “bosses” and “manager” with “teacher.” Replace “workplace” with “classroom.” 26
27 Characteristics of the Net Generation Neil Howe and William Strauss are leaders in the field of generational research and creators of LifeCourse Associates, a generation consulting firm. They have identified seven qualities common among the generation of people born between the years 1982 and 2002: special, sheltered, confident, team-oriented, conventional, pressured and achieving (Howe and Strauss, Millennials Go vi). Howe and Strauss have both a sympathetic and optimistic view of the Net Generation, “smart, ambitious, incredibly busy” (Howe and Strauss, Millennials Go 4). “By the time the last Millennials come of age, they could become the best-educated youths in American history, and the best behaved young adults in living memory. But they may also have a tendency toward copying, consensus, and conformity that educators will want to challenge…” (Howe and Strauss, Millennials Go 30).
28 Characteristics of the Net Generation Bob Pletka mentions that this generation increasingly perceives that school is of no value. Analog teaching methods and the TTT (talk, text, test) approach to lessons is driving the statistic up. “…in the last 20 years the numbers of students who find schoolwork meaningless has risen another 12%. Additionally, the number of student dropouts has also risen from about 23% in 1969 to its current rate of 32%” (Pletka 16).” Howe and Strauss mention that students are academically driven, but that does not necessarily indicate that students find school work valuable and satisfying.
29 Characteristics of the Net Generation Pletka goes on to say that the national education policy, No Child Left Behind, is exacerbating the problem. Under that policy, teachers are more likely to teach to the standardized test in lecture and note-taking format. It’s a Catch 22, as classroom discussion, group work and computer assisted methods, are superior teaching formats but not the most effective for test preparation. While lectures contribute to the students’ sense of disengagement, they are also the best way to prepare students for standardized tests. “Because high stakes accountability measures can significantly affect schools financially (in the forms of incentives or punishments), instructors often use inferior teaching methods” (Pletka 17).
30 A Few Educational Statistics TheChronicle of Higher Education recently published an editorial, “America’s Most Overrated Product: The Bachelor’s Degree.” The author, Marty Nemko a college counselor, cites some shocking statistics. “Among high-school students who graduated in the bottom 40 percent of their classes, and whose first institutions were four-year colleges, two-thirds had not earned diplomas eight and a half years later” (para. 2). Net Gen has helicopter parents influencing their daily lives and decisions throughout their college years. But “Only 23 percent of the 1.3 million high-school graduates of 2007 who took the ACT examination were ready for college-level work in the core subjects of English, math, reading, and science” (Nemko para. 4). 43% of Community College students need remedial coursework. (Online Debate, Google video, The Millennials: The Dumbest Generation or the Next Great Generation?)
31 Characteristics of the Net Generation Howe and Strauss do note that there is a tendency with Millennials to cheat or plagiarize partly because they are programmed to succeed by their parents. See sites like: http://www.non-plagiarized-termpapers.com/ According to Howe and Strauss, Millennials don’t see a difference between “traditional notions of exam cheating and modern notions of information ‘morphing’” (Howe and Strauss, Millennials Go 149). Professors need to proactively use plagiarism detection tools like Turnitin.com, and Google search phrases from papers as downloading, rearranging, cutting and pasting are tools that this generation brings to academia. Image source: www. members.fortunecity.com
32 Characteristics of the Net Generation Howe and Strauss in Millennials Go to College do mention serious health ailments such as sleep deficit disorders (146), obesity and prescription drug abuse (157) as common among the Net Generation. The sleep disorders and obesity are said to stem from over-scheduling, irregular meals and little time to exercise. Sadly, the helicopter parents that encourage success don’t seem to encourage rest. A healthy diet and regular exercise are easy enough to achieve and boost productivity. Image source: http://www.fusionsleep.com/
33 Characteristics of the Net Generation Unfortunately the Net Gen has turned to artificial alertness in the form of prescription drugs such as Ritalin, Adderall and Provigil for academic and athletic performance enhancement. Howe and Strauss say that one out of every ten students in grades 7 to 12 are turning to “smart drug” use (157). Parents that are pushing their children to achieve academic and athletic feats should put that same focus on teaching their children to develop a healthy lifestyle, that includes rest, a balanced diet and regular exercise. Image source: http://www.pharmacyautomationsupplies.com/
34 Characteristics of the Net Generation Depending on whom you read, the Net Generation has either a challenging or positive future. Jean Twenge, notes that Net Geners have more emotional problems and episodes of major depression than previous generations. “Depression now arrives at younger and younger ages. The number of children on mood-altering drugs tripled between 1987 and 1996” (Twenge 106). Howe and Strauss would argue that there isn’t a difference in emotional health with the Net Gen, but a difference in parental involvement, and a difference in proactively seeking and accepting help. Perhaps that’s true. For a generation that openly talks about (and blogs about) their emotions and personal lives seeking help is probably second nature.
35 The Net Gen Student
Students today are consumers; not only are they shopping for the most value for their dollar, they tend to project an entitlement for passing grades simply by paying tuition. Natasha Sajé discusses the impact of consumerism on higher education in an editorial titled “Teaching for Tips” published in Liberal Education. “It’s gotten to the point where students actually write things like ‘I’m not paying this kind of money to get a B’ on their course evaluations” (50). Past generations didn’t express these sentiments, but then again, education has never cost so much.
36 The Net Gen Student The Net Generation has had options, opportunities and conveniences like no other generation. What this translates into today, is a generation that acts and communicates without barriers. Bob Pletka states: “For this generation, the world is all about choices—when, how, why, and what they want to communicate—and neither time nor place can stop them” (26). Long-term, these characteristics may help build a superior, more successful, globalized world. Short term, “the expectation of convenience carries over to academia [and ] many students expect instant gratification from their professors in terms of getting their papers back graded and getting instant responses to their emails, voicemails, etc.” (McGlynn, 21) Image source: http://blog.mikezhang.com
37 Community College Demographics and Staffing [Community colleges] are open-admissions institutions. They serve disproportionately high numbers of poor students and students of color. Many of their students are the ones who were least well served by their previous public school education and therefore most likely to have academic challenges as well as fiscal ones. Community college students are three to four times more likely than students in four-year colleges to reflect factors that put them at risk of not completing their education (Boswell and Wilson 11).
A 2006 analysis of 245 administrators identified student retention (87%) and under-prepared students (84%), as major concerns for community colleges, (Crane xiii).
According to the Harper College: New Students Report (2004) more than 45% of new students attending the full-time orientation in FY04 graduated in the bottom half of their high school (4). In the fall of 2008, 50.94% graduated in the bottom half of their high school. (2008 Breakdown: 22.8% forth quartile, 28.16% third quartile, 19% second quartile, 8% first quartile – 22% not on file.)
38 Community College Demographics and Staffing Compared to four-year institutions, community colleges see more students labeled as academically at risk. The Harper College at risk population continues to grow right along with enrollment figures, and staffing levels remain steady. Only 39% of student contact hours are taught by full-time faculty. This issue has been addressed in the College’s Strategic Long Range Plan. The College recognizes that adjuncts may be less well integrated with the institution, and may not have as much availability to counsel, guide and retain our at risk population. According to the Harper College Health and Psychological Services Year End Reports, 2002-2005, there has been a steady increase in the number of students seeking psychological services. As these students reflect a more complex and psychologically ill profile, they are in greater need of a variety of psychological supports and interventions.
39 How to Teach & Reach the Net Gen Flexible course suggestions from the PowerpointMillennial Generation Traits and Teaching by Leslie “Bud” Gerber and Mike Wilson. The authors of “How Generational Theory Can Improve Teaching: Strategies for Working with the ‘Millennials,’” which appears in the inaugural issue of Currents in Teaching and Learning, a peer-reviewed on-line journal. [article PDF] Provide options within a stable framework “Give them options and choices wherever possible – e.g., grade weights, project topics, testing formats.” “Consider letting some parameters of the class be cooperatively designed by students and instructor – e.g., elements of the course syllabus, goals, rules, and assignments.”
40 How to Teach & Reach the Net Gen Flexible course suggestions from the Powerpoint Millennial Generation Traits and Teaching by Bud Gerber and Mike Wilson. The authors of “How Generational Theory Can Improve Teaching: Strategies for Working with the ‘Millennials,’” which appears in the inaugural issue of Currents in Teaching and Learning, a peer-reviewed on-line journal. Provide the option for team work “Create opportunities for small group work -- Millennials like team work, but many prefer smaller teams of 2 or 3.” “Give them a clear structure for team management, including a fair mechanism for ejecting “slackers” from the team -- don’t rely on them to manage team problems unless you’ve also given them a clear structure for doing so.” “Incorporate their preference for team-style activities by emphasizing collaborative and “active learning” pedagogies – e.g. “jigsaws” -- over traditional lectures.”
41 How to Teach & Reach the Net Gen Flexible course suggestions from the Powerpoint Millennial Generation Traits and Teaching by Bud Gerber and Mike Wilson. The authors of “How Generational Theory Can Improve Teaching: Strategies for Working with the ‘Millennials,’” which appears in the inaugural issue of Currents in Teaching and Learning, a peer-reviewed on-line journal. Provide incremental rewards and frequent feedback “Mimic the structure of video games by offering students “incremental rewards” and frequent feedback – e.g., note that video games are built upon actions/consequences, and effort/reward.” [Watch the rewards in a typical Super Mario Brothers game—most grew up on this in the 1990’s. View the speed run of the same game…] “Incorporate a grading system which provides them with multiple ways to maintain and improve grade.” “Give them ongoing rather than infrequent feedback – e.g., with a mixture of quizzes, exercises, reports, papers, etc., rather than only a “2-test” structure.”
42 How to Teach & Reach the Net Gen Flexible course suggestions from the Powerpoint Millennial Generation Traits and Teaching by Bud Gerber and Mike Wilson. The authors of “How Generational Theory Can Improve Teaching: Strategies for Working with the ‘Millennials,’” which appears in the inaugural issue of Currents in Teaching and Learning, a peer-reviewed on-line journal. Provide ways to reduce stress “Consider a pre-planned mid-semester reduction in class workload – Millennials perceive themselves to be more over-worked than previous generations.” “Consider breaking up assignments into modules and sub-modules, thus creating more manageable units.” “Incorporate flexible deadlines – e.g., offering reduced grades for late submissions rather than a “no late papers” policy.” “Offer study guides which include some questions that will appear on subsequent tests and exams.”
43 How to Teach & Reach the Net Gen Flexible course suggestions from the Powerpoint Millennial Generation Traits and Teaching by Bud Gerber and Mike Wilson. The authors of “How Generational Theory Can Improve Teaching: Strategies for Working with the ‘Millennials,’” which appears in the inaugural issue of Currents in Teaching and Learning, a peer-reviewed on-line journal. Give them “shelter” “Deliberately overestimate their need for clarity – e.g., highly detailed syllabi, pre-exam instructions and review.” “Provide “safety-net” options like extra-credit assignments and make-up exams -- Millennials tend to be risk-averse.” “Reduce the amount of content in General Education courses – thus allowing more time for extensive processing and critical thinking work.”
44 How to Teach & Reach the Net Gen Flexible course suggestions from the Powerpoint Millennial Generation Traits and Teaching by Bud Gerber and Mike Wilson. The authors of “How Generational Theory Can Improve Teaching: Strategies for Working with the ‘Millennials,’” which appears in the inaugural issue of Currents in Teaching and Learning, a peer-reviewed on-line journal. Consider their work = success basis for confidence “Explain and illustrate at the beginning of the semester that hard work by itself, in the absence of skill and ability, does not always guarantee high grades.” “Indicate what type of effort on their part is more likely to be rewarded – e.g., authentic close reading vs. skimming and summaries.” “Provide model examples of successful papers, exams, and other assignments.”
45 How to Teach & Reach the Net Gen Flexible course suggestions from the Powerpoint Millennial Generation Traits and Teaching by Bud Gerber and Mike Wilson. The authors of “How Generational Theory Can Improve Teaching: Strategies for Working with the ‘Millennials,’” which appears in the inaugural issue of Currents in Teaching and Learning, a peer-reviewed on-line journal. Consider their stance on social conventions “Clearly define acceptable rules of classroom behavior and link violations of that code to grade reductions – e.g., cell-phone use, text messaging, and expectations of attentiveness and civility.” “Carefully discuss any assignment that requires students to go beyond standard classroom and topic models – e.g., service-learning activities, field trips, student research.” “Rigorously guard against cheating – e.g, through assignment types that resist easy Internet plagiarism.” Video “Teaching the Millennial Student” by Jeremy Brueck
In Summary Wilson & Gerber advocate that instructors: 1) strive for greater clarity in course structure, assignments, and grading expectations; 2) provide significant opportunities for student initiative, participation and choice; 3) incorporate stress-reduction mechanisms; and 4) engage students in a significant, course-long conversation on the ethical dimensions of taking a college class. 46
Parting thoughts “Given the shelf life of the information we teach, it is perhaps more important to teach students the skills to be able to find information (do research) and to be able to discern and evaluate the validity of that information.”McGlynn, Angela Provitera. "Millennials in College: How Do We Motivate Them?." Education Digest 73.6 (Feb. 2008): 19-22. 47
Parting thoughts “As teachers… we need to recognize that we can teach with patience and understanding without compromising either our academic standards or our grading and assessment practices. …it remains critical that we ask all students to meet standards worthy of a university degree—even if that means they must sometimes move outside their comfort zones and we must move outside ours.” Stewart, Kenneth "Lessons from Teaching Millennials." College Teaching 57.2 (2009): 111-118. 48
A few resources Colorado State UniversityTeaching with Technology Workshop Videos and PowerPointshttp://tilt.colostate.edu/twt/
Promoting Student Interactivity in Online and Face-to-Face Courses
Extending Classroom Discussion with Forums, Blogs, and Email
Avoiding the PowerNap: Strategies for Active Learning with PowerPoint
Supporting Student Collaboration Online
The Potential of Plagiarism Detection Software
Increasing Student Participation and Engagement in Large Classes
Engaging the Online Learner by Rita-Marie Conrad. The book includes real, demonstrated, classroom examples. The Library and DoIt have copies. Debate: The Millennials: The Dumbest Generation or the Next Great Generation (Google video) The Harper College Fact Book and Environmental Scan
See Harper Portal, Divisions, Strategic Alliances, Office of Research, Reports
A few more resources Fogarty, Timothy J. "The Millennial Lie." Issues in Accounting Education 23.3 (Aug. 2008): 369-371. Gerber, Leslie and Michael Wilson. “How Generational Theory Can Improve Teaching: Strategies for Working with the ‘Millennials,” Currents in Teaching and Learning 1.1 (Fall 2008): 29-44. McGlynn, Angela Provitera. "Millennials in College: How Do We Motivate Them?." Education Digest 73.6 (Feb. 2008): 19-22. Skiba, Diane J., and Amy J. Barton.. “Adapting Your Teaching to Accommodate the Net Generation of Learners.” Online Journal of Issues in Nursing 11.2 (May 2006): 15-15. Stewart, Kenneth. "Lessons from Teaching Millennials." College Teaching 57.2 (Spring 2009): 111-118. 50
51 Wrap up / Next Steps Googol is a mathematical term, the digit 1 followed by one hundred zeros. The company name “Google” is a misspelling of the word “googol” as described in the bestselling book The Google Story by David Vise. A googol is not an infinite number and Google is not the answer to our infinite questions. But together we have infinite opportunities for reaching, teaching and motivating the Millennial Generation. Thank you! Questions? Comments? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Image source: http://www.csus.edu/pubaf/journal/spring2003/images/StudentBodycircle.jpg iGeneration