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.

  • Group assignments and projects with both individual and group components
  • Group and individual brainstorms
  • Gallery walks
  • Think-pair-share
  • 1-Minute papers/reflections
  • Polling/Games (e.g. Poll Everywhere, Kahoot, Quizizz)
  • Hands-on-activities

Theme 2: Multimodal Learning Experiences & Assignments: “I appreciate multimodal learning opportunities.”

Consider ways to integrate multiple modes of learning in the classroom.

  • Learning experiences
    • online simulations, videoclips, multimodal activities from publishers of textbooks, in-class as well as on Moodle; virtual field trips; innovative technologies (virtual reality, 3D printing, etc.); presentations via Zoom or Google Meet
  • Study tools
    • opportunities to practice strategies such as retrieval (e.g. Quizlet)
  • Assignments
    • blogs, podcasts, videoclips, audio clips, digital data collection projects
  • Resources @ Lafayette
    • Learning and Research Technologies
    • Digital Scholarship Services: Consider how to integrate student-driven digital collections projects into your course.

Theme 3: Connectedness: “I am with you virtually.”

Leverage the high connectedness of GenZ students to enhance learning.

  • Consider using various tools to allow GenZ learners to connect virtually.
    • Google Suite software (Google Docs, Google Slides, Google Sheets) allow GenZ learners to collaborate on projects even when they are not face-to-face.
    • What’s App or Group Me– Enables learners to communicate with one another for group projects, etc.

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.”

  • Create a classroom technology policy for cell phone and laptop usage in your course that is inclusive of learners and aligns with your teaching philosophy. Include this policy on the syllabus and discuss the first day of class as well as during the semester, in addition to the rationale behind the policy.
  • Design opportunities for students to “unplug.”
  • Explain the impact of digital distraction on learning.

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.