The newest generation of learners, called the millennials, present with unique characteristics. Every generation is shaped and defined by their experiences which lead to differences in beliefs, attitudes and sensitivities, which result in varying expectations, values and methods of interacting with others. As faculty, we are one or more generations ‘removed’ from our present learners. Better understanding the millennials as learners will assist us in reflecting on our teaching practices and plan strategies to effectively meet our collective teaching and learning needs.
A METAPHOR TO PONDER
If we consider the old adage: “Give a man a fish, he eats for a day; teach him to fish, he eats every day”. We could describe millennials as wanting ‘prepared seafood to go’. They may pause for some ‘microwaving instructions’ but have no interest in how to catch, clean or cook a fish. Our challenge is to facilitate learning, eg. by providing “fishing rods” so that the student can “fish” long after they leave the College. Our challenge is to capture interest in the process versus the product (of getting their diploma/degree). (McGuire & Williams in Lieberman, 2002)
ARTICLES OF INTEREST
Prensky, M. (2001). Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants Digitalnatives
Prensky, M.(2001). Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants Part II: Do they really think differently?Dotheyreallythinkdifferently
Welcoming a new generation to college: The millennial students WelcomingaNEwGenToCollege
Making the most of generational differences (Conference Board of Canda, 2009)
BOOKS AVAILABLE IN THE CENTRE FOR TEACHING AND LEARNING
Howe, N., & Strauss, W. Millennials Rising: The next greatest generation. New York: Vintage Books, 1993
Lieberman, D. (2002). The millennial learner: Challenges and opportunities In To improve the academy: resources for faculty, instructional and organizational development. Pod Network, 20
Oblinger, D., & Oblinger, J. (2006). Educating the net generation. Educause. Available at: http://www.educause.edu/educatingthenetgen (Also available in CTL)
EXTERNAL WEB RESOURCES
Krause, K. (2005). The changing student experience: Who’s driving it and where is it going? Retrieved November 21, 2007 from http://www.csu.edu.au/division/studserv/sec/papers/krause.pdf
Monaco, M, Martin, M. (2007). The millenial student: a new generation of learners. Athletic Training Education Journal. 2 (42-46).
Retrieved November 20, 2007 from http://18.104.22.168/~atej/vol2/no2/EJMonaco.pdf
Also available in the CTL
Oblinger, D. (2003). Boomers, gen-xers, and millennials: Understanding the new students. Educause Review. 38(4).
Retrieved November 21, 2007 from http://www.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/erm0342.pdf
Oblinger, D., & Hawkins, B. (2005). The myth about students ?we understand our students.? Educause Review. 40(5).
Retrieved November 21, 2007 from http://www.educause.edu/apps/er/erm05/erm0558.asp
Underwood, N. (2006). The teenage brain: why adolescents sleep in, take risks, and won’t listen to reason. The Walrus
Available online at: http://www.walrusmagazine.com/articles/2006.11-science-the-teenage-brain/