Barbour, M. K. (2011, April). Today's student: Understanding what's real and what it means for them? An invited presentation to the College of Education at the University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.
Generational DifferencesThe theory that people bornwithin an approximately 20 yeartime period share a common setof characteristics based uponthe historical experiences,economic and social conditions,technological advances andother societal changes they havein common.
Generational Boundaries• GI Generation “Greatest Generation” – Born between 1901 and 1924• Silent Generation – Born between 1925 and 1945• Baby Boomers – Born between 1946 and 1964• Generation X – Born between 1965 and 1980• Today’s Student – Born between 1981 and 2000 to 2005
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This Generation’s NumbersIn New Zealand...•1 to 1.2 million•larger than the Baby Boomers(~900K)•25% larger than Generation X•made up 28% to 33% of totalpopulation in 2006
This Generation’s NumbersIn the United States...•60 million•largest group since the BabyBoomers (72 million)•3 times larger than Gen X•teen population is growing attwice the rate of the rest ofAmerica•made up 37% of U.S.population in 2005
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Today’s Student• Generation Y• Echo• Net Generation• Neomillennials• Generation NeXt• Millennials• Generation Me• Digital Natives• Generation txt
Net Generation• Digital technology has had a profound impact on their personalities, including their attitudes and approach to learning• Perception is that there has been a shift from a generation gap to a generation lap - kids "lapping" adults on the technology track
Neomillennials• Fluency in multiple media and in simulation-based virtual settings• Communal learning involving diverse, tacit, situated experience, with knowledge distributed across a community and a context as well as within an individual• A balance among experiential learning, guided mentoring, and collective reflection• Expression through nonlinear, associational webs of representations• Co-design of learning experiences personalized to individual needs and preferences
Millennials• “…todays teens are recasting the image of youth from downbeat and alienated to upbeat and engaged.”• characteristics generally marked by an increased use and familiarity with communications, media, and digital technologies• upbringing was marked by an increase in a neoliberal approach to politics and economics
Digital Natives• “Our students have changed radically. Today’s students are no longer the people our educational system was designed to teach.”• “It is now clear that as a result of this ubiquitous environment and the sheer volume of their interaction with it, today’s students think and process information fundamentally differently from their predecessors.”Prensky, M. (2001). Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants – Part II: Do They Really Think Differently? On the Horizon, 9(6).
Generational Differences and Training• Thomas Reeves (University of Georgia) completed a funded literature review on generational differences• Most generational differences in the literature were based on no or flawed researchReeves, T. C. (2008). Do generational differences matter in instructional design?Paper presented to ITForum. Retrieved on March 13, 2009 fromhttp://it.coe.uga.edu/itforum/Paper104/ReevesITForumJan08.pdf
Another Common Myth: The Master Multitasker• Memory encoding and memory retrieval weaker in teens when attention is dividedNaveh-Benjamin, M., Kilb, A., & Fisher, T. (2006). Concurrent task effects on memory encoding andretrieval: Further support for an asymmetry. Memory & Cognition, 34(1), 90-101.
Other Multitasking Studies• Herath, P., Klingberg, T., Yong, J., Amunts, K., & Roland, P. (2001). Neural correlates of dual task interference can be dissociated from those of divided attention: an fMRI study. Cereb. Cortex 11, 796 – 805. – longer time• Fisch, S. (2000). A capacity model of children’s comprehension of educational content on television. Media Psychology, 2(1), 63-91.• Lang, A. (2000). The limited capacity model of mediate message processing. Journal of Communication, 50(1), 46-70. – simultaneous tasks limit memory• Just, M. A., Kellera, T. A., & Cynkara, J. (2008). A decrease in brain activation associated with driving when listening to someone speak . Brain Research, 1205, 70-80. – less likely to remember
“Todays young people havebeen raised to aim for thestars at a time when it ismore difficult than ever toget into college, find a goodjob, and afford a house.Their expectations are veryhigh just as the world isbecoming more competitive,so theres a huge clashbetween their expectationsand reality.”
• In 2002, 74% of high school students admitted to cheating whereas in 1969 only 34% admitted such a failing. (p. 27)• In 1967, 86% of incoming college students said that “developing a meaningful philosophy of life” was an essential life goal whereas in 2004 only 42% of Gen Me freshmen agreed. (p. 48)• In 2004, 48% of American college freshmen reported earning an A average in high school whereas in 1968 only 18% of freshmen reported being an A student in high school. (p. 63)• In the 1950s, only 12% of young teens agreed with the statement “I am an important person” whereas by the late 1980s, 80% claimed they were important. (p. 69) Jean M. Twenge
“When asked about problems facing their generation, many millennials respond that the biggest one is the poor example that adults set for kids.” p. 36Oblinger, D. (2003). Understanding the new student.EDUCAUSE Review, 38(3), 36-42.
“The number onething to realize withthe Millennials isthat as a whole theyreflect much moreparentalperfectionism thanany generation inliving memory.Colleges anduniversities shouldknow that they arenot just getting a kid,but they are alsogetting a parent.”
Focus on undergraduate education• 2006: 557 colleges and universities• 2005: 529 colleges and universities• 2004: 473 colleges and universities• 2003: 437 colleges and universities• 2002: 367 colleges and universities• 2001: 321 colleges and universities• 2000: 276 colleges and universities
NSSE results• Work expectations for students: –10-15 hrs in class –25-30 hrs studying
NSSE results• Work Reality: –20% study 5 hrs per week or less –25% 6-10 hrs –48% 11-30 hrs –7% > 30 hrs
NSSE Time On us Task uocol Activ t i n el y k lab e, o n im a c lea orati C T b rni ve ed ng Fe Student High faculty AcademicInteraction Challenge
What Else Do We Know?http://www.decliningbydegrees.org/
The most “shocking” discovery isthe “non-aggression pact” betweeninstructors and students.
What Else Do We Know? http://www.ivorytowerblues.com/
The traditional standard for an averageperformance was a C, but students nowexpect Bs for putting out a modicum of effortthat produces mediocre work, and As if theydo any more than this. Failure is a thing ofthe past in many schools.
Schools today arebeset by a newgeneration oflearners whoseskills andexpectations derivefrom growing up onthe net.
Today’s Student and Technology• Today’s students technical knowledge is broad, but shallow• Skills differ by academic program; deepest in engineering and business• Technical fluency does not equal maturityhttp://www.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ers0506/rs/ers0506w.pdf
Two Key Points• Introducing technology alone is never enough.• Big gains in productivity come when new technologies are combined with new ways of doing business.
Two Key Points• Introducing technology alone is never enough.• Big gains in education come when new technologies are combined with new ways of teaching.
“Lecturing stillabsorbs more thanhalf to two thirds ofvarious departments’teaching practices…These traditionalforms of teachingseem to have beenrelatively untouchedby the enormousinvestment intechnologies.”
Pedagogies to Consider• Providing formative evaluation (d=0.90)• Micro teaching (d=0.88)• Teacher clarity (d=0.75)• Providing feedback (d=0.73)• Teacher-student relationships (d=0.72)• Teaching strategies (d=0.60)• Cooperative vs. individualistic learning (d=0.59)• Study skills (d=0.59)• Direct instruction (d=0.59)• Mastery learning (d=0.58)• Worked examples (d=0.57)• Concept mapping (d=0.57)• Goals (d=0.56)• Peer tutoring (d=0.55)• Cooperative vs. competitive learning (d=0.54)