1 Valley City State University (UNITED STATES)
2 North Dakota State University (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN09 Proceedings
Publication year: 2009
Pages: 383-391
ISBN: 978-84-612-9801-3
ISSN: 2340-1117
Conference name: 1st International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-8 July, 2009
Location: Barcelona ,Spain
An essential component of education is being able to understand learners. Due to an increased demographic mix of college and university students, it is imperative for academic staff to address the needs of diverse learners in order to capture the essence of and appreciation for age diversity. Students have many preferences, values, and behaviors that become variables in classroom interaction. These variables are a result of programming due to the media messages, historical events, parenting patterns, and the mainstream culture of their life up to the very minute they are interacting with other students. Literature generalizes these sets of values as generational groups (Builders, Baby Boomers, Generation Xers, and Millennials). These are merely flexible generalizations rather than rigid stereotypes and should be used as helpful guidelines to begin to understand students.
This presentation will describe how students of different generational groups prefer to interact within undergraduate classrooms. These intergenerational values change over time within age groups and class ranks when students interact in the classroom. Class rank is as much, if not more, of a significant factor in determining students’ preferences for classroom interaction as their age. Age alone is not a good indicator of generational group membership based on classroom behavior preferences. It is possible to identify solid and true members of generational groups by their shared values rather than simply by age. Individual student values must be considered. Value sets for each generational group as defined relative to the undergraduate learning environment will be shared. Only 11.3% of the study’s total sample scored as true members of the generational group they are typically defined within when framing intergenerational interaction preferences in an undergraduate educational environment.
student interaction, undergraduate, generational groups, learning preferences.