ELI Discovery Tool: Net Generation Workshop Guide


The ELI Discovery Tool: Net Generation Workshop Guide is designed as an action-oriented, modifiable resource for faculty development and other instructional uses. We have focused on the Net Generation because serves as a starting point for many other discussions about active learning, emerging technologies, information fluency, learning space design, and assessment.

Although we have used the phrase "Net Generation," the real focus of this collection is on understanding learners. An essential part of designing effective instruction is to understand your audience–in this case, students. Your students arrive on campus with expectations, experiences, and impressions that are not often articulated. How well the learning environment aligns with their expectations, experiences, and impressions has an impact on their learning, satisfaction, and potentially success.

Here are some of the key concepts included in this Discovery Tool:

  • It is important to understand your learners. Although you may try to see things from their perspective, generational differences may make that difficult.
  • Learners' experiences and expectations likely have an impact on what they want in terms of learning environment, spaces, support, and interaction.
  • Colleges and universities need to balance the student perspective with academic requirements, faculty experience, and long-term goals.
  • Many options are available for making education more engaging for students, from modifying courses and curricula to modifying physical and virtual facilities.
  • Don't assume you understand students: Ask and get them involved.

The guide is designed to be modular. Select those units that suit your needs. Each unit can be used as a stand-alone activity, lasting perhaps two hours; or all units can be combined for a multiday faculty development event. Within this Discovery Tool, you'll find articles, videos, podcasts, discussion exercises, and questionnaires. (View a screencast overview of the Net Generation Discovery Tool.)

We encourage you to customize the guide by adding your own material or modifying what you find here. If you ultimately revise elements of the tool to make them more effective, please share them with us. It will help us keep the tool current and maximize its value for the ELI community at large.

For more information and resources on the Net Generation, see the ELI Learners Web page.

For more information and resources on the net generation, see the ELI Net Generation Learners Web page. If you have questions or comments, please contact us.

Net Generation Workshop Guide Units