A number of learner-centered teaching and advising strategies can support Generation Z students in the classroom and beyond. Several are listed below based on emerging themes from the literature. Although not explicitly stated in each strategy, being inclusive of all learners is critical when deciding which to implement. For example, when using activities with digital technologies, ensure that all students have access to devices and that assignments are accessible. Please keep in mind that the strategies are broadly based on generational research findings for the “average” GenZ learner; individual students have their own preferences which may differ from those listed.
Theme 1: Engaging Learning Environments: “Involve me in learning.”
Engage GenZ students using active learning. Simultaneously, consider that while many iGen learners value collaborative work, many may also enjoy some degree of independence. Activities that integrate both individual and group components can be particularly effective. See examples below as well as CITLS’ online resource on active learning.
Theme 2: Multimodal Learning Experiences & Assignments: “I appreciate multimodal learning opportunities.”
Consider ways to integrate multiple modes of learning in the classroom.
Theme 3: Connectedness: “I am with you virtually.”
Leverage the high connectedness of GenZ students to enhance learning.
Theme 4: Information Gathering From the Internet: “I obtain a lot of information online.”
Teach information literacy.
Theme 5: Monitoring Technology Usage: “I may still be figuring out how to balance my usage of digital technologies.”
Theme 6: Interest in Social Change – “I want to make a difference.”
Develop learning activities that integrate social change or encourage students to take up such opportunities experiences while at Lafayette.
Theme 7: Mental Health: “I may need resources to combat anxiety and depression.”
Encourage and normalize help-seeking.
Design a classroom that encourages students to thrive. See the following articles:
The Chronicle of Higher Education. (2018). Report: The New Generation of Students: How Colleges Can Recruit, Teach, and Serve Gen Z.
Seemiller C. & Grace, M. (2016). Generation Z Goes to College. San Francisco: John Wiley & Sons.
Twenge, J.M. (2017). iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy, and Completely Underprepared for Adulthood. New York: Atria Paperback.