Understanding Generational Perspectives to Improve Student Engagement in the Classroom (Published 2015)
Apr 06, 2016
Rezaee M, Moldovan T and Dereski M
Millennial medical students are described as multi-taskers and social media buffs. These qualities often manifest themselves as student disengagement in the classroom. This study explores whether generational differences exist in the perceived effectiveness of various instructional strategies.
Introduction: The ability to engage and capture the complete attention of first and second year medical students throughout a complete lecture may be a myth of the past. Unlike the generations before them, Millennial medical students have been described as multi-taskers, technology gurus, and social media buffs. These qualities often manifest themselves as student disengagement in the classroom. The purpose of this study was to determine whether generational differences exist in the perceived effectiveness of various instructional strategies in improving student engagement in the classroom.
Methods: Complimentary, web-based surveys were distributed to first and second year medical students and biomedical science faculty at Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine, as well as pre-medical students at Oakland University.
Results: Responses were obtained from 80 medical students (46%), 17 faculty members (50%) and 50 pre-medical students (6%). Out of 147 respondents, 73.4% were Millennials, 12.9% were Z’s, 7.5% were X’ers, and 6.1% were Baby Boomers. Significant differences were found in the perceived effectiveness of select instructional strategies between generations.
Conclusion: Identifying where generational perceptions of instructional strategy effectiveness intersect may allow educators to identify, enhance and invest in those strategies that have the greatest potential for success in the classroom.
An interesting paper that looks at student engagement from a different perspective. I would hope that the authors could take this forward into a future research project since I feel that any results would be very beneficial.
A very interesting paper which describes that generational differences exist in the perceived effectiveness of instructional strategies to improve student engagement in the classroom. All generations agreed that classroom sessions are more engaging when professors use more than one teaching strategy.
The limitation of the study was the small sample size of a single medical school limit. Therefore, future investigations with larger sample sizes from multiple medical schools are necessary to identify strategies that have the greatest potential for success in the classroom.