Encouraging Alternative Forms Of Self Expression In The Generation Y Student: A Strategy For Effective Learning In The Classroom

1511 words - 7 pages

Abstract: A majority of students in the classrooms of colleges and universities today, are a product of a generation of latch key kids in which daycare, babysitters, television, and computers serve as surrogate parents. With the proliferation of technology, the internet, beepers and cell phones have become social lifelines for this generation. They are technology savvy, independent and resourceful. Conditioned to expect immediate gratification, these youth have shorter attention spans and also a low threshold for boredom. It can be quite a challenge for educators to keep these young people engaged in the classroom. This paper presents an innovative teaching/ learning strategy used in a ...view middle of the document...

They often desire support and feedback, but detest authoritative control. Accustomed to immediate gratification, youth in these generations are responsive. They crave stimulation and expect immediate answers and feedback (Brown, 1997).It comes as no surprise then, that today's college students are typically very comfortable with technology, have shorter attention spans, a low threshold for boredom, resist memorization and busy work and prefer action to observation (Litten & Lindsay, 2001). Learning styles of these generations are more active and visual rather than verbal.Given the distinguishing attributes of these new generations, including a highly visual imagination, educators are obliged to explore different and innovative teaching strategies that effectively address students in terms that they easily recognize and comprehend. For effective instruction to occur, the educator should traverse the world of the learner. Brown (1997) suggested that authentic learning requires the learner to communicate detailed understanding of a problem or issue rather than memorize sets of isolated facts, and must result in achievements that have relevance beyond the classroom.This paper presents a successful teaching/learning strategy used in the classroom in a nursing school, which is geared towards Generation Xers and Yers.SCHOOL OF NURSING PROJECTDuring their clinical experience in obstetrics, junior undergraduate nursing students at Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University are required to compose an individual case study integrating obstetrical theory, especially pathophysiology, with practicum. Traditionally, this has been an exercise where students do extremely well, often submitting comprehensive and well-organized documents. Since students choose to report on a variety of obstetrical problems, faculty members decided to instruct students to present their case studies in an open forum to the class in lieu of end of semester reviews.Twenty--five students submitted oral presentations detailing their cases over two three-hour periods. A major goal of and obstacle to the faculty was to keep the class as engaged as possible in this long review session. Aware of the challenges of keeping students interested and involved for such an extended time frame, the faculty decided to grant students control of their own learning. That is, students were given the ultimate responsibility of orchestrating the review session with very little direction from faculty. The only student requirements were that they were to: (1) be as creative as possible, (2) actively engage their colleagues in teaching and learning and (3) employ strategies to capture and maintain the attention of the audience.STUDENT PRESENTATIONS OF CASE STUDIESStudents chose to present their case studies through a variety of forms of expression:* Two students presented using a lecture format.* Three students delivered power point presentations.* Three students presented posters.* One group of...

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