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Millennial Students Require New Classroom Approach


The learning habits and behaviors of millennial students will lead to changes in classroom pedagogy over the next decade, said Richard T. Sweeney, M.L.S., university librarian at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, at Fordham University’s Faculty Technology Conference on May 22.

Sweeney said that millennials (students born between 1979 and 1994) demand more choices, are short on patience and are much less solitary and individualistic than previous generations.

“Their sense is that they’re busy around the clock, everything they do is based around speed and time,” he said.

Sweeney called millennials natives in the art of quick choices and in multitasking, having grown up with the Internet, instant messaging and video games. Their ability to concentrate is great, and their social networks are their principal way of getting information.

“They learn by doing; they don’t read the directions,” Sweeney said. “They want face-to-face learning with a mentor; the key to getting them to learn in classrooms is to get them engaged.”

Sweeney advocated more peer-to-peer learning methods and more use of intelligence tutors, artificial-intelligence programs that track a student’s individual progress.

The conference, held at the Lincoln Center campus, was sponsored by Instructional Technology Academic Computing, a division of Fordham University’s Department of Information Technology.

– Janet Sassi


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