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Millennial community college student: understanding their natural use of technology for learning




Natali, Dennis J., author
Quick, Don, advisor
Timpson, Bill, committee member
Foley, Jeffrey, committee member
Luft, Greg, committee member

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Students of the millennial generation are generally noted as being born between 1982 and 2002. For the purpose of this study, the term - Millennial - will be considered to be the proper generational title based on the work of Howe and Strauss (2000). This study explored the natural use of technology for academic learning through the interviewed experiences of millennial students who attend community college because one area missing from the literature is the millennial community college student's voice. There are several reports of demographic statistics, but rigorous qualitative research discovering the millennials self-description of why they use technology in academia is missing and has become the driving force for this study. Using the constructivist approach of grounded theory, this study proposed a realistic theory to academia for more effective content delivery. There were nine salient findings evinced from the interviews. The findings indicate a relationship between the requirements of classwork and their need for technology to fulfill those requirements. Findings also discovered that most millennial community college students have been using educational software since elementary school. Additionally, online education is quickly becoming an integral function of the twenty-first century collegiate landscape and the students are taking advantage of this capability because of the role-conflict that prevents full-time university attendance. An interesting finding reveals how the students use a variety of technology and a range of methods in how they access online classwork content. But to perform these required classwork assignments, the millennial community college student must have quality access to the internet. This study concluded with the recommendation that academia would achieve greater utility from reducing distractions and increasing bandwidth and nodes of their Wi-Fi access so that they will have a more reliable and stronger signal to accomplish their required online academic tasks.


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grounded theory


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