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Do the “Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education” Still Hold True for Our Millennial Students?. Dr. Paula Ahles, Social Sciences Faculty Janeil Davis, QUEST. The Millennial Generation.

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Do the “Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education” Still Hold True for Our Millennial Students?

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Do the “Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education” Still Hold True for Our Millennial Students?

Dr. Paula Ahles, Social Sciences Faculty

Janeil Davis, QUEST

The Millennial Generation

Teaching “Millennium” generation college students automatically makes every higher education instructor a digital immigrant; every 20-something student a digital native. What’s the difference? Those in the immigrant camp instinctively reach for the Yellow Pages to call a plumber; those in the native camp instinctively Google.

Peter Connor, Quote taken from “Teaching Millennials: Give Them What They Need,” The Institute for Learning and Teaching, Colorado State University

Millennial Demographics

  • Most racially and ethnically diverse in this nation’s history

  • More likely to be biracial or multiracial

  • More likely to have been racially segregated in their previous educational settings and neighborhoods

  • Wealthier, although it is more polarized

  • More ambitious than either Boomers or


Millennial Characteristics

  • Special

  • Sheltered

  • Confident

  • Conventional

  • Team-Oriented

  • Achieving

  • Pressured

How Do the “Seven Principles” Apply to Millennials?

1.Encourages Contact Between Students

and Faculty

  • Characteristic

    • Special

  • Implications for the Classroom

    • Learn student names

    • Hold convenient office hours but vary within the week

    • Vary the locations you hold office hours

    • Hold student conferences during semester – require students to visit with you either individually or in groups

    • Discuss and encourage use of campus resources

    • Attend events sponsored by student groups

    • Be accessible via e-mail, Blackboard Discussion Board, etc.

How Do the “Seven Principles” Apply to Millennials?

2. Develops Reciprocity and Cooperation Among Students

  • Characteristic

    • Team-Oriented

  • Implications for the Classroom

    • Create learning communities, study groups, and/or project teams within courses

    • Encourage students to join a campus organization (perhaps one connected to the discipline)

    • Use group projects or presentations with specific performance criteria, so that each person’s grade is independent of those achieved by others

    • Use peer critiques and editing

    • Rotate students when working in pairs or small groups

    • Use creative ways to show what has been learned (skits, games, demonstrations, re-enactments, etc.

How Do the “Seven Principles” Apply to Millennials?

3. Encourages Active Learning

  • Characteristic

    • Confident

  • Implications for the Classroom

    • Encourage students to challenge your ideas, the ideas of other students, or those presented in the readings

    • Give students concrete, real-life situations to analyze

    • Ask students to relate outside events or activities to the subjects in the course

    • Use simulations, role playing, or labs in your classes

    • Arrange field trips, volunteer activities, or internships related to your course

    • Carry out research projects with students

    • Require students to help design and teach parts of courses

How Do the “Seven Principles” Apply to Millennials?

4. Gives Prompt Feedback

  • Characteristics

    • Sheltered

  • Implications for the Classroom

    • Give frequent quizzes and/or homework assignments to help students monitor their progress

    • Prepare classroom exercises and/or problems which give students immediate feedback

    • Return exams and papers within a week or sooner

    • Give students detailed evaluations of their work early in the term

    • Provide written comments on exams and papers regarding strengths and weaknesses

    • Provide feedback and review immediately after an exam

    • Encourage drafts of writing assignments

    • Use the Blackboard grade book or similar system to post scores so students can monitor their own progress

How Do the “Seven Principles” Apply to Millennials?

5. Emphasizes Time on Task

  • Characteristic

    • Pressured

  • Implications for the Classroom

    • Start and end class on time

    • Provide full disclosure (in syllabus) about all assignments, deadlines, etc.

    • Provide a clear explanation of plagiarism

    • Explain the consequences for non-attendance

    • Expect students to complete their assignments on time and have consequences in place for those who do not

    • Clearly communicate to students the minimum amount of time they should be spending preparing/studying for your course

    • Use progressive deadlines for projects, assignments, and presentations

    • Assign realistic time values for each assignment and have realistic expectations for class assignments

How Do the “Seven Principles” Apply to Millennials?

6. Communicates High Expectations

  • Characteristic

    • Achieving

  • Implications for the Classroom

    • Provide clear expectations orally and in writing (through syllabus) at the beginning of each course

    • Provide specific information at various times throughout the semester on how to be successful in your course

    • Suggest specific ways to improve performance (campus resources, tutorials, websites, etc.)

    • Work individually with poor performers to encourage higher levels of performance

    • Expect students to attend, be on time, and actively participate

    • Periodically discuss how the class is doing

    • Give examples of exemplary assignments and projects

    • Regularly revise your course to demonstrate your own commitment to high expectations

How Do the “Seven Principles” Apply to Millennials?

7. Respects Diverse Talents and Ways of Learning

  • Characteristic

    • All of them?

  • Implications for the Classroom

    • Utilize diverse teaching activities to address a broad spectrum of students

    • Within each lesson, identify a variety of learning opportunities to engage as many ways of learning as possible

    • Use technology when it serves an effective purpose (Blackboard, You Tube, podcasting, video case studies, simulations, etc.)

    • Select readings and activities that relate to the backgrounds of your students

    • Provide extra materials or exercises for students who lack essential background knowledge or skills

    • Use a variety of evaluation methods (exams, papers, projects, presentations) to allow students to demonstrate their ability

Technology Suggestions for the “Digital Native”

  • Post course notes and web site links of interest so students can explore relevant resources

  • Direct students to discipline-specific, Internet-accessible databases

  • Develop course-specific web pages containing class materials, slides, and interactive multimedia components

  • Podcast you lectures so students can listen or re-listen to them on their iPods and MP3s

  • Introduce a student interactive response system (i.e. clickers) into your class in Q&A sessions and get immediate, measurable results

  • Use WIKI Web sites for students to add and edit collaborative work

  • Use Message Boards for one-way communication with groups and Chat Rooms for communication between group members

    Source: Skiba, D.J., Barton, A.J. (2006, May 31). Adapting Your Teaching to Accommodate the Net Generation of Learners. The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing.

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