Type of Document Thesis Author Sickler, Stephanie Mattke Author's Email Address firstname.lastname@example.org URN etd-04082009-101129 Title Millennial Student Learning Preferences: An Analysis of Two Interior Design Class Case Studies Degree Master of Fine Arts Department Interior Design, Department of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Jill Pable Committee Chair Lisa K. Waxman Committee Member Peter Munton Committee Member Keywords
- Instructional Techniques
- Interior Design
- Learning Preferences
Date of Defense 2009-03-20 Availability unrestricted AbstractThe newest generation of college students, the millennials, have been shown to be vastly different than their predecessors. Born between the years 1982 and 2002, these students exhibit traits and preferences that can be linked to their unique upbringing (Howe & Strauss, 2000). Of the many differences they exhibit, millennial student learning preferences are perhaps the most notable. This thesis study seeks to determine how millennials’ learning preferences and their experiences in interior design classes intersect. Understanding how students learn and prefer to learn can help educators fit their teaching style together with the needs of their students.
There are many ways to instruct students, but research has shown millennials to be selective about how they receive information. Research suggests millennial students usually prefer more hands-on or interactive instructional techniques to other more traditional techniques such as lecture. Specifically, research suggests college-age millennials generally prefer the use of these five techniques in their classrooms:
1. Moderate levels of interactive technology
2. Presence of team or group activities and/or projects
3. Presence and quick turnaround of instructor feedback
4. Presence of hands-on learning or interactivity
5. Presence of peer evaluation opportunities (Oblinger, 2003; Howe, 2005; Prensky, 2001)
This proposal reports the results of an ongoing study which examines how millennial interior design students respond to current instructional techniques employed in studio and non-studio interior design classes. Aligning educational tactics with student needs and ways they learn best is a logical goal in secondary education. It is helpful, therefore, to examine the interaction between educators and their students to identify and examine possible strengths and weaknesses of classroom learning and the teaching tactics that facilitate this learning.
For the purposes of the study, second year interior design students in classes entitled ‘Studio 1’ and ‘Social/Psychological Aspects of Interior Design’, are queried regarding their reactions to instructional techniques noted.
This study specifically provides students the unique opportunity to express their feelings about ways they prefer to learn. The intent of this study is to provide interior design educators an opportunity to see through the eyes of their students and to determine if class learning strategies used in the examined interior design courses are in fact preferable by these millennial learners.
The findings of this study in brief are that generally millennial interior design participants did respond favorably to millennial-preferred instructional techniques. They also responded favorably to the traditional techniques observed in the study. Participants seemed generally pleased with the mix of both millennial-preferred and traditional techniques used in their interior design classes.
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