Relationship of Social Media and Rapidly Evolving Technology on Approaches to Learning in the Millennial Generation
Bright, Brittany M.
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The purpose of this study was to identify the approaches to learning of the millennial generation and to describe the student's perspective on the relationship that social media and technology has on individual approaches to learning. This study specifically identified the demographic profile of the generational group who were business freshmen students currently taking courses in their first semester of college. Completed surveys were received from 136 freshmen at a Midwestern university, consisting of items regarding technology and social media frequency of usage and Attitudes Toward Thinking and Learning (ATTLS) for identifying approaches to learning. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and an analysis of correlations to explore any relationships between technology and social media usage on individual approaches to learning. The findings indicated weak correlated relationships between the students reported usage of technology to learning, with no significant relationships identified between the usage of social media. The survey given to the participants included open response questions regarding their expectations of college, resulting in a better understanding of the participants' approaches to learning and what they feel allows them to be successful. Four themes emerged from the analysis of responses: time management, faculty/student relationship development, course design, and the students' awareness of their learning preferences. The generational characteristics in this study were identified based on age and exposure to technology; however, this study found that daily technology and social media immersion had minimal to no significant relationship with the method in which individuals approached their own learning and problem solving.
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