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Engaging Generation C

April 02, 2018

By Niki Glick (Instructional Design & Learning Technologies)

We’ve all heard of the Millennial generation, but have you heard of “Generation C”? Unlike most cohorts, Generation C is not an age-based demographic. It’s actually anyone who is constantly connected. Most likely, this demographic encompasses you, your students, your kids, and some of our parents and grandparents.

Being constantly connected is not necessarily a bad thing. Being connected means we have access to a wealth of information whenever we need it. It also provides opportunities for real-time interaction and immediate feedback in the classroom.

Research shows that for maximum teaching effectiveness, we must combine traditional teaching strategies with digital or "clickable" teaching strategies. The problem with traditional teaching strategies is that they don't often allow for a “backchannel”; the conversation that happens during the primary presentation or discussion. A few tools we can use to create a backchannel in the classroom are:

  • Google Slides live Q&A session – Presenting a lecture with Google Slides provides the audience with a link they can use to ask you questions in real-time. The audience has the ability to “Upvote” and “Downvote” questions to prioritize them for you.
  • Poll Everywhere – A university-supported audience response system that allows students to respond to questions in real-time via their internet-connected device. Student answers can be graded or simply used for class discussion.
  • Kahoot – Gamified quizzing application, free for students and educators. Split students up into teams and task them with creating quizzes over content for the other teams.

Note: Although there is no formal training for these tools other than Poll Everywhere, IDLT would be happy to assist you in your technology selections.

Students have their devices on them at all times, why not gain control over how they're using them in the classroom?

If you are interested in learning more about using digital tools to increase student engagement in your classes, contact the Instructional Design and Learning Technologies group at idlt_center@siue.edu.

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