Engaging the Distracted: Using Technology to Meet the Challenge of
Reaching Gen Z and Millennials Without Deterring Non-Traditional Students
Casey Wilhelm North Idaho College
North Idaho College
A dynamic, interactive discussion of how student populations have changed
and how professors can adjust instructional designs to meet these changes. While
many classes include significant numbers of ESL students and while numerous students
receive accommodations for cognitive challenges such as ADHD, little is done to meet the
needs of these students aside from allowing additional time for assignments or assessments.
Often, these accommodations alienate students by requiring them to use alternative examination
sites such as testing centers, which can exacerbate feelings of separation from the rest of the class.
Additionally, recent CCSSE reports, and numerous other studies, show that millennials and Gen Z
students do not read textbooks, many believing it is more efficient to use “Quizlet” and similar sites
to prepare for tests, yet most instructors still assign traditional readings, citing their own learning
experiences. Similarly, millennials, in particular, demand more recognition as well as the opportunity
to provide feedback for their assignments, but aside from an end-of-term survey, few courses provide
for these needs. Using adaptive learning, unlimited, timed, formative assessments, and integrated
learning, the presentation provides tools, and the rationale behind their use, in order to assist instructors
to increase student engagement,
retention, and academic success.
Professors, associate professors, and instructors with undergraduate
classes comprised of diverse student populations including non-traditionals
as well as millennials and Gen-Z students.