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Teaching the Internet Generation, Anywhere

A cohort of always-in-motion Millennials who are wired to their handheld multimedia/interactive devices are not inclined to sit attentively during 19th century-style lectures, let alone plow through thick, text-only reading materials. This is why colleges such as New Jersey’s Rutgers University (and Roger Williams University) are moving into multimedia-centric and interactive teaching approaches that keep Millennials engaged.

“Instructors are increasingly open to a teaching style that moves beyond solely lecturing,” explained David Wyrtzen, Associate Director for Faculty Training and Outreach at Rutgers’ Digital Classroom Services. “At the same time, the proliferation of web-based communication has created an expectation that participation in the classroom need not be limited by geography.”

Rutgers is meeting both trending challenges head on. First, the university recently launched an active learning initiative “that has thus far produced four brand-new active learning spaces and a community of faculty and staff who have joined forces to advance active learning teaching methods,” said Wyrtzen.

Second, in early 2017, Rutgers will open two Synchronous Immersive Lecture Classrooms “that will enable students in classrooms on different campuses to feel as though they are in the room with the instructor and their fellow classmates,” he said.

James Careless is a regular NewBay Media contributor.