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Lessons from the road: Generational differences in learning

Have you ever wondered how world and national events influence generations? At the recent Eduventures conference in Boston, Tammy Erickson, thought leader, author, and researcher, presented a fascinating overview on how national and global events and trends shape and define a generation’s views and perspectives.pexels-photo-129543

Here are some findings from her presentation:*

Gen Y (Born 1980 – 1995):

  • The events that influenced…. Terrorism (9/11); School Violence (Columbine); Ubiquitous technology; A pro-child culture where parents fully supported; Team culture focused on positive coaching.
  • ….and led to these common generational characteristics: GenY natives live each day to the fullest. They are confident and optimistic and family centric. They are also digital natives with new ways of approaching work.

ReGen (Born 1996 – today):

  • The events that influenced…. Recession and refinancing; Resource shortages – energy & water; Reality TV; Mobile technology
  • ….and led to these common generational characteristics: ReGen natives delay gratification (they save – no debt). They will rent or trade or improvise (think Citi Bike, Rent the Runway, Zipcar®). ReGen natives are normal users of technology. Technology is a non-issue for them. Technology does not define their generation. It is all they have ever known. They also do not expect, or want, a lot but what they want they want when they want it.

This rich research presented by Ms. Erickson offers colleges and universities insight into how to effectively communicate with, engage and service students from these generations. One size does not fit all. Varying experiences shape the way students process information. The message and delivery of information should be tailored to the generational lens of each student. acknowledges the generational differences of the students we serve through our college and university partners. Many of the attributes of our service inherently are a good match for students of both the Gen Y and ReGen generations. As an example, the aforementioned ReGen students expect to get what they need, when they need it. has 3600 well-vetted and qualified tutors available to help students often in less than a minute. We understand their expectations and are committed to not missing an opportunity to help them at their moment of need. will continue to assess the characteristics and needs of the students we serve through our college and university partnerships and align innovation to these learnings to ensure we continue to meet the unique needs of each student, across all generations.

*Keynote presentation: Eduventures Summit 2016 “Your New Recruiting Class: What are they really thinking?”

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