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The Myth about Students


EDUCAUSE Review Volume 40, Number 5, ISSN 1527-6619


In this article, the authors discuss the reality of today's current students and their expectations of the institutions they attend. Specifically, they describe the current generation, the Net Generation, of traditional-age college students who have grown up with computers and the Internet, living in a rapid-response, multimedia, anytime-anywhere networked world that has shaped their worldview, their reaction times, and how they learn. Though these students may be multitaskers who favor graphics over text, communicate with equal ease in person and online, expect instantaneous responses, and who prefer Google to the library, their comfort with technology may not be synonymous with competency. Faculty and administrators, from earlier generations, do not understand their students' IT preferences. This article compares the differences between these generations. When asked what they deem most important in an optimal learning milieu, students place faculty expertise at the top of their list. The authors suggest that university faculty and administrators should not assume that they understand their students simply because they were once students, but need to understand that times, technologies, and students change. Faculty and administrators need to ask: (1) Do we know our students and their preferences, or do we assume we know? (2) How are we adapting programs to students' needs? (3) What balance of physical and virtual will best serve our student population? (4) Are our building and renovation plans based on outdated assumptions? and (5) What is the proper balance between student and faculty perspectives? (Contains 8 endnotes.)


Oblinger, D.G. & Hawkins, B.L. (2005). The Myth about Students. EDUCAUSE Review, 40(5), 12-13. Retrieved July 14, 2020 from .

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