Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Prospective College Students Encounter a Potential Facebook-Based Barrier

     High school students who are interested in attending a community college or four year university have another obstacle to overcome - their facebook/myspace profile. These "personal" profiles serve as open windows to a prospective college student's personal life.
     College admission counselors are logging on social networking websites like facebook.com and myspace.com to gain an in-depth look at the high school students who may attend their college or university. Read more information about this phenomenon here - "Admissions Officers Peek at Applicants' Facebook Profiles".

Monday, September 22, 2008

Do Your Students Prefer Simple Cell Phones?

        At the beginning of this semester, I conducted an informal survey at the beginning of each of my four classes to determine which digital technology the students used the most. A large majority of my students are millennial undergraduate students and they are members of a generation that is used to communicating with others through facebook, myspace, text messaging, etc.
        According to the article, For Many Students, the Simplest Cell Phones Suffice, many undergraduate students use their cell phones for simple everyday digital functions. This article focuses on a study conducted by the University of New Hampshire, which suggests "students use their phones in limited ways — mainly for talking, texting, keeping track of time, and a handful of other basic functions".
        As a member of the millennial generation, I progressed through a series of digital adoption steps. In high school and college (when cell phones were becoming popular for non-business users and pagers were going out of style), I bought a new cell phone every year to keep up with the next trend. For example, my first cell phone was a Nokia with a prominent antenna and a green screen. I was satisfied with this cell phone, but my best friend bought a Nokia with a white screen. It was downhill from there for about five years. 
        As a graduate student and assistant professor, I do not feel that I have keep up with the latest cell phone trends. When I enter my classrooms, I probably have the oldest cell phone in the room. My cell phone does not even have a camera feature, but it makes calls and downloads monophonic ringtones (i.e. - Sweet Home Alabama and "Please Don't Stop the Music".
        I am tech savvy, but I am also financially frugal. Will my students make a transition through the digital adoption steps? I am not sure, but I think that the current state of the economy will perpetuate a "change". Do you feel simple cell phones satisfy millennial undergraduate students on your campus?

- Dr. Jennifer T. Edwards (Millennial Professor)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Five Best Practices for Online Workshops Targeted Towards Millennial Students

Some college graduates and current undergraduates from the millennial generation have short attention spans. This weekend, my husband and I will facilitate a "College Prep Boot Camp" for high school seniors.

There are certain aspects of this generation that we have to take into consideration when planning this event. I am a college professor and my husband teaches high school, therefore we have very interesting conversations about students from the millennial generation before and during college.

While planning for the workshop last weekend, I found an article from Litmos.com titled, "5 Tips to Design Effective Training for Generation Y". This article focuses on online workshop facilitation for millennial students (which we may consider in the next few months). According to this article, these are five things to consider before you build an online training course for students of this generation:

  1. Keep training short & to the point.

  2. Good communication tools within the training system are a must. Messaging at a minimum!

  3. Community is important. Build forums & discussion groups around topics.

  4. No one likes to be told what to do, especially Gen Y. Make sure your training 'guides' thinking rather than telling them how it is.

  5. Incorporate the big picture. Generation Y are very interested in their part in it, and more importantly how they can change it!
I will definitely take these into consideration when planning for my online course next semester.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The 100th Post...Almost (Help Me Celebrate!)

Hello Readers! We are almost to the 100th Millennial Professor Post! I am very excited about these next few posts and to celebrate this joyous occasion - I would really like some feedback about the blog.

If you are a faithful reader/subscriber, occasional reader, or if you just stumbled upon this site. Please leave some comments about it. What do you like about the blog?

By the way, the Ch-Ch-Changing Librarian...this means you too!

-Dr. Jennifer Edwards (Millennial Professor)

Testing Millennials Via Blackboard

Recently, I decided to administer my tests online. This has been very challenging for me, because I know some students may take advantage of this opportunity. I researched this issue for a few years and I decided to implement online testing in all of my classes (lower level and upper level).

My first test had 25 questions and the students had 30 minutes to complete the examination. One of the classes is longer than the others and this class was given 15 extra minutes to take the examination. This class also served as my variable in this semi experimental research design.

This time, my main focus was on minimizing the opportunities that students may use to cheat on the test. Here are some other things that I did:

a) I reminded the students that cheating on this test will put them at a disadvantage in the future. (The next test (midterm) will be worth more points and I will be present to proctor the examination.)

b) I randomized the questions and answer choices on the examination.

c) I informed the students that I could see when two students or more took the examination at the same time.

d) I created a database of 40+ questions and blackboard randomly chose which questions would create the test of 25 questions for each student.

This is a great website that helped me! - Problems with Online Testing

If you have any additional suggestions, please let me know! I hope that this helps!

-Millennial Professor

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Are Millennials Politically Engaged Inside and Outside of the Classroom?

Are Millennials Politically Engaged Inside and Outside of the Classroom?

As a millennial, I feel that this has been the most interesting election since I have been able to vote. As a freshman in college, I was VERY interested in the 2000 election. In 2000, on the count/recount night, I remained awake until 1:00 a.m. to see who the new president would be. This time I have watched CNN and Fox News every night to hear the new stories that emerge from the political battleground.

However, it seems that my undergraduate students are not experiencing the same level of exhilaration that I have at this time. On the first few days of class, I asked my students if they watched CNN on a regular basis and if they were keeping up with this year's election. None of the 75 students in my lower level classes watched CNN on a regular basis and only a small percentage of the students were actually keeping up with the election.

This was very discouraging to me and I felt that my millennial students were not politically engaged. However, the students from my upper level course were politically engaged and were excited about the election. This is a very small example, but are older millennial students more politically engaged than younger millennial students? Hmmmm... this may be a great research study.

In addition, over the summer, I read a book titled, " Millennial Makeover: MySpace, YouTube, and the Future of American Politics by Morley Winograd and Michael D. Hais. This book was VERY interesting and I plan to write a book review about it in a few weeks. It featured a wonderful historical analysis of the candidates and the political parties. The book gave the millennial generation freedom from the usual negative portrayal of their generation. In addition, after reading this book, I have braced myself for the wonderful leaders that will emerge from my generation (the millennial generation).

Access the authors' website here - http://www.millennialmakeover.com/.

- Millennial Professor