How Do Millennials Learn?: Implications for Higher Education Pedagogy

How Do Millennials Learn?: Implications for Higher Education Pedagogy

Miriam Chitiga (Fayetteville State University, Fayetteville, USA), Theodore Kaniuka (Fayetteville State University, Fayetteville, USA) and Mary Ombonga (Fayetteville State University, Fayetteville, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/IJICTE.2019010103

Abstract

This article investigates how 86 first-semester African-American college freshmen perceive their time management, study, and test-preparation habits. The research questions sought if the freshman students reported study, note taking, and test preparation habits were different from what we would expect if no preferences existed. Participants voluntarily completed the 21-item quantitative survey. The study revealed patterns of preference for study patterns, that students believed they spent sufficient time studying, crammed materials, were unable to study for long periods, had retention challenges, and were generally cognizant of haphazard study patterns. There were strong relationships between having disorganized study behavior, cramming, and difficulty in retention of materials. The study recommends that student development and academic personnel work together to help student develop their students' academic success skills.
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Background

There is a growing concern about the inability of first-year college students to manage their time and academic work-loads (Tennant, 1995 and Hardman & Smith, 1999). While earlier research studies focused on establishing the role of perception aspects, such as group position, GPA, and benchmark assessments, in predicting learning results (Nisbet, Ruble & Schurr, 1982 & Houston, 1980), more recent studies have focused on understanding whether non-perceptive features influence educational accomplishments of students. Relationships between non-perceptive determinants, such as learning expertise, learning conduct, and mindset and educational success have also been studied (Adebayo, 2008; Awang & Sinnadurai, 2011; Tella, 2007; Yang Yang, 2011; Bashir & Mattoo, 2012 & Mutsotso, S.N. & Abenga, E.S., 2010). Research shows that effective study skills and habits have a positive correlation to academic achievement (Burnet, 2001). While the development of generic study skills is a common focus of universities, there is less focus on using students’ own perceptions of their own study habits to create targeted skills training, which could produce optimal college learning performance (Brophy, 1984). Especially with the increase in online, hybrid/blended, and flipped classes, students no longer need to study just for tests and exams; they additionally need to study course materials before, during, and after class. Considering that more courses obligate learners to work in learning groups, as one of the 21st-century workforce skills, the importance of effective and versatile study skills also increases. Studying in teams requires different skills from solo studying. Moreover, studying for a test requires different skills from studying for a class session, be it hybrid/blended, online, enhanced, or face-to-face. Research has addressed a wide range of issues affecting college students in general and freshmen in particular; however, there is still limited research that focuses on how students themselves and specifically students of color, perceive their own time-management, study, note-taking habits, test preparation, and test-taking habits.

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