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Teaching Generation NeXt: Methods and Techniques for Today’s Learners

Teaching Generation NeXt: Methods and Techniques for Today’s Learners

Mark Taylor

Faculty struggle to effectively teach traditionally aged students from Generation NeXt. Their academic preparation and expectations, consumer orientation, esteem and importance issues, and use of technol-­ ogy are challenging traditional educational practices (Coates 2007;; Hersch and Merrow 2005;; Schroeder 2004;; Taylor 2005, 2006, 2010;; Twenge 2006;; Prensky 2001a, 2001b;; Tapscott 2009). While old-­school methods, especially the all too common lecture on content to passive learners, are proving less and less successful in bringing students to successful learning and developmental outcomes, pedagogies of activity and engagement, especially those that use recently available Web-­ and technology-­based tools DQG UHVRXUFHV FDQ EH PRUH HIIHFWLYH EXW DUH QRW DWWDLQLQJ VLJQL¿FDQW OHYHOV RI XVH LQ PRVW VFKRROV 0DQ\ faculty who are interested in meaningful student learning understand why they need to move from the traditional academic delivery model to a best practices model based on increasing student responsibil-­ ity, engagement, and activity that leverages newly available online and technology-­based resources, but they may not know what to do (Barr and Tagg 1995;; Bok 2006;; Gardiner 1998;; Tagg 2004;; Taylor 2010;; 8 6 'HSDUWPHQW RI (GXFDWLRQ   7KLV SDSHU SURYLGHV DQ RYHUYLHZ RI VSHFL¿F WHFKQLTXHV IRU LPSURYing instruction and student learning when operationalizing the model introduced in “Teaching Generation NeXt: A Pedagogy for Today’s Learners” (Taylor 2010).

Improve Student Future Orientation

Helping students see themselves in the future to better understand and identify with future vocational, professional, and personal roles can improve both learning and persistence as they connect class goals DQG FXUUHQW OHDUQLQJ WR IXWXUH QHHGV DQG EHWWHU VHH HGXFDWLRQDO VXFFHVV VSHFL¿FDOO\ LQ WKLV FODVV DV QHFHVsary for them to reach future goals.

Techniques to Improve Student Future Orientation

Offer students opportunities to identify future roles (vocational, professional, and personal) and the knowl-­ edge, skills, and values necessary to be successful in those roles by involving them in class assignments and in-­class activities to help them look more closely at the after-­college world. Students can research their prospective careers in resources like the Occupational Outlook Handbook (http://www.bls.gov/oco/), identify the requisite skills for that work, and connect the skills to course outcomes. Upper-­level practicum or internship students (or recent graduates who have successfully transitioned from school to work), with whom current students can readily identify, can visit classes to describe and help students better under-­ stand workplace and after-­school expectations. Students can interview people in their chosen professions or ideal jobs and identify how those professionals use course skills or information.

A Collection of Papers on Self-­Study and Institutional Improvement, 2011

© 2011 Higher Learning Commission. All rights reserved.


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