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Millenials vs. Boomers

I'm a boomer who teaches a college class that combines business law and ethics. I want my students to enjoy and master the subject matter but my notion of how to study material and prepare for class don't jibe with theirs. Most of the students don't do the readings so I have powerpoints to walk them through them. Ideally, my class would supplement the readings, as my college classes did, but left to their own devices, the students can't figure out what's important and what's not. They also do not take notes in class. Their expectation is that I will give them the powerpoint. I honestly don't know how someone learns without the most minimal of notetaking. Is this an unfair expectation? I'm aware that some people learn aurally and visually but these folks don't seem to be paying attention no matter how the material is presented. They also don't seem to be able to remember concepts that were covered in previous classes. My impression is that memorization of any kind was considered "rote" or mechanical work that was discouraged. The feeling is that if they need to know something, they can look it up rather than clutter their brains with it. That deprives them of a basic framework to tie concepts together, in my opinion. When it comes to tests, there's a feeling that it should be open book with do-overs, that I should give them the test questions in advance and tell them exactly what they need to study and that the questions should exactly reproduce those that were covered in class. When they do poorly, they're very efficient in making excuses for themselves and pointing out additional ways that I can pre-digest the content for them. There's also a tendency for them to read objective questions as if I'm seeking their opinions or feelings rather than referencing the law or problem-solving models we're covering in class. I would say that I have three out of 20 students who do the readings, come in prepared to discuss them, retain concepts and are able to handle problems on exams that are not exact duplicates of what they've had previously. I'm sure I have shortcomings as a professor but I really do want them to do well. I've also read extensively about how millenials learn. I really do think most of these folks would be better served by an online course that fits into their time schedule and attention span except that I don't think that really prepares them for the interactions of a workplace. Thoughts?


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