Engaging Millennial Leaners: Why Don’t My Students Think I’m Groovy?

Christy Price, Center for Academic Excellence, Dalton State College

What factors influence student motivation and desire to learn? Obviously, there are some influences beyond the professor’s control, but research in educational psychology suggests one thing we can do to increase student engagement is to create learning environments that are in some ways linked to, and supportive of, the current student culture. During this participatory session, we will briefly review the literature regarding the culture of the Millennial student and apply the findings of the presenter’s research regarding Millennial learners. We will specifically discuss the characteristics of Millennials’ ideal learning environments, their preferences regarding assessments, their perceptions regarding the characteristics of the ideal professor, and their ideal institutional practices. Throughout the workshop, participants will engage in activities that will require them to reflect on their own teaching methods and/or institutional practices. Open-ended questionnaires, check-lists, and video clips of faculty and students will be utilized in order to facilitate discussion regarding practical steps we can take to meet the
needs of Millennial learners.