Working with the Millennial Generation


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A look at what works in teaching, especially online, with Millennial, digital native, or "Net Generation" college students.

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Working with the Millennial Generation

  1. 1. Anastasia M. Trekles, Ph.D.
  2. 2. • We teach the way we were taught • But, students don’t always respond the way we did to the same strategies • Consider where your students are coming from
  3. 3. • One of the most-studied generations • Generalizations come mostly from research – but, still important to not stereotype! • Overall “personality” of those who fit the Millennial group – including students with birthdates roughly from 19802000
  4. 4. • Anyone who grew up with computers and Internet technology (1980-today) • Term coined by Marc Prensky • Primary argument: students today are different • Technology has “wired” their thinking– they are “native speakers” of digital language
  5. 5. • Diverse • Often grew up with “helicopter parents” – “largest, healthiest, and most cared-for generation” • Strive to achieve – motivated by grades, recognition, external awards • Staying at home longer, family-oriented • Grew up with technology as commonplace • Optimistic and confident • Collaborative and team-oriented
  6. 6. • • • • • • • Clarity Chunked content Achievement Ethics training Variety Flexibility and Choice Social engagement • Millennials are often very rulesoriented • Many are more visually literate and less textually literate • Expect to achieve the grades they want and will do whatever it takes to get them • Expect a greater array of selections in all things, including learning • Live in a transparent world where communication is constant
  7. 7. • Variety – vary your activities and assessments, and provide choice where you can • Clarity – explain everything that is required as thoroughly as possible • Use modules/units – smaller packages of material lead to deeper conversations • Examples and resources – offer examples of good work, practice tests, and different ways to study, including through video, summary articles, websites
  8. 8. BlackBoard • • • • • • • • Group Tools Mashups (YouTube, Slideshare) Wikis, Discussions, Blogs Rubrics (Rubistar helps!) Learning Modules Practice tests and assignments SafeAssign, ProctorU, test options Retention Center Other Tools • Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc) • Adobe Connect • Camtasia (for creating video lectures) • Online portfolios (,, Goo gle Docs)
  9. 9. • • • • nt_Course_Experience/Student_Performance
  10. 10. • Wilson, W., & Gerber, L.E. (2008). How generational theory can improve teaching: Strategies for working with the “millennials.” Currents in Teaching and Learning, 1(1), 29-44. Retrieved from /currentsv1n1wilsonp29.pdf • The writings of Marc Prensky: • Nicholas, A. (2008). Preferred learning methods of the millennial generation. Faculty and Staff - Articles & Papers. Paper 18. • Carr, N. (2011). The shallows: What the Internet is doing to our brains. New York: W.W. Norton.
  11. 11. • Reach us at: – – Twitter and Facebook: @PNCOLT – for all workshop notes, links, and training needs