3 Ways to Teach the Modern Learner

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 1 of 2

1. PERSONALIZE AND CUSTOMIZE Today, anything that someone comes in contact with will offer suggestions based on the viewer's preferences, including TV and movie streaming sites like Netflix and Hulu, video services such as YouTube, and online shopping websites like Amazon. Most students entering college now are accustomed to this type of personalization in their daily lives. They expect it. To address this need, you can now use course tools that provide real-time, targeted individualized feedback, allowing your students to easily gauge their progress and focus their study time on what they still need to learn to master the material. 2. MAKE THE CONTENT RELATABLE Modern-day instructors teach students from multiple generations. The same course may include students just out of high school as well as those in their twenties, thirties, or older. What now? Focus on the content! Regardless of age, most people will know what is current. Bring in current events with captivating visuals to make the content meaningful and more engaging. What better way to explore a topic or concept than to explore it within the context of a current event that has already captured your students' interest? This helps generate discussion and reinforce concepts in a way students can relate to while bringing the material to life for better comprehension. 3. USE TECHNOLOGY Technology is a critical tool to help teach modern learners who are always on their phones and interacting with social media, games, and videos. You can use that to your advantage in the classroom. The technology available works to ensure "high efficiency, effectiveness, engagement, satisfaction, and motivation of students" (Urh, et al. 2015, 391). Technology also provides easy "anywhere, anytime" access to course content, which has changed the way students study to better fit personal preferences and their on-the-go lives. Types of technology to consider include: a. Video: Video content offers many perspectives on the same subject, which can provide valuable context on the topic being covered. Video can also help free up class time, allowing you to address the essential points in class. Video is more effective when used with assessment, so be sure to select digital course tools that offer built-in assessment for video content. b. Social media: Students enjoy social media, so why not take advantage of that? Social media provides new, direct, and quick ways to communicate with an entire class or one-on-one. This can increase connectivity and accessibility. c. Games: Access to games can provide course content to a student in a fun and new way. Games help those with short attention spans and offer an opportunity to engage with the material in a light-hearted way. Here are three ways to adjust a course and pedagogical approaches, and provide stronger material for modern learners. Digital tools can make teaching the modern learner more manageable and help increase student engagement. You may find that, through small changes in your pedagogical approach, even your struggling students can thrive.

Articles in this issue

view archives of SAGE - 3 Ways to Teach the Modern Learner