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Teaching Millennials to Engage THE Environment instead of THEIR Environment: A Pedagogical Analysis
Unformatted Document Text:  Recent studies of Millennial learning patterns have suggested collaborative, experiential approaches favor the strengths of Millennial students over the more traditional didactic approaches. 33 In particular, the use of research-informed design (RID) practices has been found to resonate with Millennial communication students by encouraging students to solve problems and answer questions by applying previously acquired knowledge and research. 34 In other words, for Millennials, limiting the education experience to simple exchanges of information between faculty and student can be counterproductive. Rather, the RID literature suggests that allowing students to absorb factual information outside of class so that class time can be utilized for application and simulation (experiential learning exercises) serves a Millennial’s educational needs more effectively. Building upon these insights, the authors developed a pedagogical approach with two components: methods used to help students apply their knowledge and skills to practical assignments (focused blogging with peer-review responses) and the intellectual frameworks (presented in visual form) that have been demonstrated effective for increasing the comprehension needed to sort through complex data-driven stories. To test this approach, a sample of 120 undergraduate students enrolled in specialty reporting and technology-oriented journalism classrooms took part in a qualitative pilot research study utilizing these methods and then surveyed afterwards. To measure the pilot study’s results, the following research questions were posed: RQ1: How do the RID strategies employed affect student enjoyment and learning in specialty reporting courses? RQ2: How do the use of visual frameworks and blogging activities affect student comprehension of complex subject matter in specialty reporting courses? 7

Authors: Stevens, Rick. and Crow, Deserai.
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Recent studies of Millennial learning patterns have suggested collaborative, 
experiential approaches favor the strengths of Millennial students over the more 
traditional didactic approaches.
 In particular, the use of research-informed design (RID) 
practices has been found to resonate with Millennial communication students by 
encouraging students to solve problems and answer questions by applying previously 
acquired knowledge and research.
 In other words, for Millennials, limiting the 
education experience to simple exchanges of information between faculty and student can 
be counterproductive. Rather, the RID literature suggests that allowing students to absorb 
factual information outside of class so that class time can be utilized for application and 
simulation (experiential learning exercises) serves a Millennial’s educational needs more 
effectively. 
Building upon these insights, the authors developed a pedagogical approach with 
two components: methods used to help students apply their knowledge and skills to 
practical assignments (focused blogging with peer-review responses) and the intellectual 
frameworks (presented in visual form) that have been demonstrated effective for 
increasing the comprehension needed to sort through complex data-driven stories. To test 
this approach, a sample of 120 undergraduate students enrolled in specialty reporting and 
technology-oriented journalism classrooms took part in a qualitative pilot research study 
utilizing these methods and then surveyed afterwards. 
To measure the pilot study’s results, the following research questions were posed:
RQ1: How do the RID strategies employed affect student enjoyment and learning 
in specialty reporting courses?
RQ2: How do the use of visual frameworks and blogging activities affect student 
comprehension of complex subject matter in specialty reporting courses?
7


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