From the staff development bookshelf: Recognizing generational differences in learning styles

Staff Development Weekly: Insight on Evidence-Based Practice in Education, September 2, 2011

Generational differences affect the learning process, which makes it essential for educators to understand learners when developing teaching material. Here's an overview of the preferred learning environments and teaching strategies for Generation X nurses, who were born between 1965 and 1980.

Preferred learning environment: Generation X is comfortable with distance learning and do not need or even always want classroom interaction. They expect education to be available at times and places convenient for them; they dislike schedules and being told to be at a certain place at a certain time. They value and expect fun to be part of learning.

Teaching strategies for Generation X:
Include hands-on learning activities and role playing. Allow plenty of time for discussion; for distance learning set up mechanism to answer questions (e.g., email) and encourage feedback. Include visual stimulation in the form of tables, pictures, and graphics; these are preferred to printed narratives.

Source: Book excerpt adapted from Learning Styles in Nursing Education: Integrating Teaching Strategies into Staff Development by Adrianne E. Avillion, DEd, RN.

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