Demystifying the Millennial Student: A Reassessment in Measures of Character and Engagement in Professional Education

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The characteristic profile of Millennial Generation students, driving many educational reforms, can be challenged by research in a number of fields including cognition, learning style, neurology, and psychology. This evidence suggests that the current aggregate view of the Millennial student may be less than accurate. Statistics show that Millennial students are considerably diverse in backgrounds, personalities, and learning styles. Data are presented regarding technological predilection, multitasking, reading, critical thinking, professional behaviors, and learning styles, which indicate that students in the Millennial Generation may not be as homogenous in fundamental learning strategies and attitudes as is regularly proposed. Although their common character traits have implications for instruction, no available evidence demonstrates that these traits impact their fundamental process of learning. Many curricular strategies have been implemented to address alleged changes in the manner by which Millennial students learn. None has clearly shown superior outcomes in academic accomplishments or developing expertise for graduating students and concerns persist related to the successful engagement of Millennial students in the process of learning. Four factors for consideration in general curricular design are proposed to address student engagement and optimal knowledge acquisition for 21st century learners.

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Anatomical Sciences Education





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This article was published in Anatomical Sciences Education, Volume 4, Issue 4, July-August 2011, Pages 214–226.

The published version is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ase.240

Copyright © 2011 American Association of Anatomists

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