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Net generation success is on the rise due the advancement of technology. These advanced technologies have changed the way they learn and interact in classrooms and online teaching. It has also enhanced their abilities in self-management, Team work, and promotes motivation. However, studies in the past also have shown negative effects of advancement of technology. For example, routine multitasking behaviors can cause shortened attention span and lack critical thinking skills. Staplton, Wen, Starett, Kilburn, Wilson, and Nicholas (2007) assert that advancement of technology does positively impact millennial generation, however; it has many negative impacts on students and the education system.
Generational differences in using online learning systems
According to Stapleton, Wen, Starett, and Kilburn, advanced technology such as online learning systems has many positive effects on the millennial generation. The Enrollment of students in colleges will significantly increase in the upcoming years, especially in distance learning. These are referred to classes offered on web, web-based, internet, internet-bases, and computer based. According to National Center for Education Statistic, over 700 thousand students were enrolled in online enrollments in 2004. The increase of enrollments ware due to "advances in computer technology, changing student demographics, and continued cost containment requirements" (Stapleton, Wen, Starrett, & Kilburn, 2007).
Online learning has always been a flexible learning tool. It provides students to learn anywhere such as office, home, and any time of the day. It is always depended on self-paced schedule, decrease cost, and improve performances. The authors go in depth about millennial generation, and their discrepancies that colleges/university must alter. One of the biggest differences among the Millennials and prior generation was that Millennials grew-up with these technologies, while prior generation did not have these facilities. The Millennials were "fascinated by new technologies, desire group activities and interaction, emphasize extra curriculum activities, and are motivated by grades and achievements" (Stapleton, Wen, Starrett, & Kilburn, 2007, pg 100).
The article conducted a study that examined the generational differences in using online learning systems. They analyzed 966 responses from online students, and concluded some difference in student's perceptions of online learning between Millennials and prior generation. The finding showed Millennials having higher level of interaction and participation than other generations. However, they have lower level interaction with teachers than other generations. Overall, the study indicated that there is not a huge difference in generation regarding perceived satisfaction, perceived learning, and motivation toward learning systems.
Millennials are less satisfies with online courses even though they spent an extensive amount of time being online. A study done by university of Florida showed only 26% of Millennials satisfied compared to 55% baby Boomers and 63% for matures. The Millennials also learned less from online course than face-to face courses. They also preferred higher level of interaction with students and teachers, and online classes don't allow them to be sociable. "Millennials are less inclined to enroll in online courses, perhaps because they expect to be part of a community, to collaborate, and interact" (Stapleton, Wen, Starrett, & Kilburn, 2007, pg 104). According to Wilson (2004), student-faculty interactions are the key to student success because it promotes encouragement to students. Arlene Nicholas also believes interactions are key to success because it allows them to work together to complete assignment. They highly feel connected through their cell phones, text messaging, blogging, and video gaming.
Teaching, learning, and Millennials students
"Teaching, learning, and Millennials students" by Maureen Wilson focuses on Millennial student's characteristic using Chickering and Gamson's principles. She focused on seven categories: encourage contact between students and faculty, develop reciprocity and cooperation among students, encourage active learning, give prompt feedback, emphasize time on task, communicate high expectation, and respect diverse talents and ways of knowing.
According to the article, student faculty contact enhances student's motivation, involvement, intellectual commitment, encouraging them to think about their own values and future plans. (Chickering and Gamson, 1987) This allowed students to get feedbacks, and advice about succeeding in classes. They highly participated in team work and collaborated learning environment. This helped them become active learners and succeed in school work. The Millennials also have high expectations because they are fully satisfied with their teachers and school work. Their parents are highly involved in their lives, and support them throughout schooling. These parents ware often referred to Helicopter parenting. "Millennials who were closely monitored, sheltered, and pushed to excel have faced academic pressure via testing and account-ability procedures promulgated by baby Boomers". (Wilson, 2004, pg.63) These students have diverse talents due to variety of teaching and assessment strategies. These facilities allow children with disabilities to take advantage, and continue living batter. Parents worked with school, and help them finish school.
Maureen Wilson believes technology can positively influence Millennials, but it is also affecting the school system negatively. Issues of academic integrity is becoming more common because Millennials highly rely in internet resources such as buying online papers or copying others work without giving credit. "The ease of going online has shaped not only attitudes about downloading, but cheating as well, blurring the lines between right and wrong. . . . Students generally know not to buy a paper off the Internet, but many think it is OK to pull a paragraph or two, as long as they change a few words" (Zernike, 2003, p. A6). Millennials are likely to cheat while working under pressure, and will do anything to succeed. If they don't get caught, then they have the assumption that it is ok to continue cheating. Arlene Nicholas also believes that students are finding easier alternatives ways for completing tasks. Doing her research, she founded 98% of students prefer Google search engine to do scholarly searches instead of using library search databases. The results showed students completely being unaware of tools such as E-journals or E-newspapers. Stapleton, et al also argued technology is causing many negative impacts on the Millennials and suggests a balanced integration of technology with appropriate pedagogical strategies.
Preferred learning methods of the Millennials generation
"Preferred learning methods of the Millennials generation" by Arlene Nicolas concluded Millennials learning and communication style through multimedia such as text messages and instant messages. The article includes millennial generation trends, learning styles, and their use of technology. According to the author, in 2008, a nationwide survey of 1171 college students, 97% of these Millennials owned cell phones and over two- third had sent text-messages on them. Text messages and instant messages are the most common way of communication in this generation. This technology also allowed Millennials to stay connected, and build positive relationship. It has also played major role in teamwork and learning styles. It allowed them to work together in major projects and classwork. Most importantly, it has allowed multitasking. Most students are expert in multitasking, such as talking on the phone, watching TV, and doing school work at the same time.
Arlene Nicholas conducted a research study addressing the learning preferences of the Millennials, along with methods of learning, format of learning, and what improvements they prefer. The study showed 102 millennial students from New England University for online survey study. The results showed PowerPoint slides and reading notes before and after class as the best method to better understand. The best electronic resource was Google search engine. Google was also the starting point of information search. According to the author, this is a big concern. She believes students will lack the ability to do accurate research using library scholarly resources. "In the 2007 study 87% of the millennial students used Google frequently, and 35% thought Google as a more useful tool then provided by the library and 51% frequently used Wikipedia for assignments" (Nicholas, 2008, pg.32).
I believe Arlene Nicholas biggest concern was the negative effects of technology on their learning process. Technologies have allowed them to multitask, but it has also caused them to shorten their attention span and lack critical thinking skills. The use of electronic resources such as Google is talking over library search engines. Wilson says, "Increasing reliance on electronic resources may make getting students to actually walk into campus library increasing difficult" (Wilson, 2004, pg 68). These students are aware of all the resources available for them in libraries, and are heavily depended on technology. With the increase of online classes the use of technology will increase significantly. Stapleton, et al also stated that better learning for students. They also advised further research in order to fully understand the effects of technology on Millennials and their style of learning.
Staplton, Wen, Starett, Kilburn, Wilson, and Nicholas assert that advancement of technology does positively impact millennial generation, however; it has many negative impact on students and the education system. All the authors believe that the right use of technology can be beneficial to students. The over use of technology will not only affect their personal lives but also there academics. The enrollments of online classes are increasing over the years due to its flexibility and cost. I completely agree with the seven principles for good practice in undergraduate and faculty, and they will definitely enhance millennial learning processes.