Sometime ago, I commented on Diana Oblinger’s presentation at the 2005 UMW Faculty Academy. It was that presentation that introduced me to the book Educating the Net Generation, which Chapter 5 I blogged about here.
I have continued to read the book, as time permits, and I want to take this opportunity to recommend Chapter 2 to anyone interested in the question posed by my title above: “Why Should I Consider Changing My Teaching Approach?” After all, we are good at what we do, and our current approach has worked well, right?
Diana and James Oblinger point out:
It is easy to assume that we understand our students, but there is often a difference in perspective between the Net Generation and faculty/administrators. As a result, it is important that colleges and universities ask the right questions and not simply assume that the current student cohort is like we were.
In short, the answer to my question is, because the students have changed. Let me be clear: I am not arguing for watering down your courses or even changing the content. Rather, I’m suggesting that there may be a better way to deliver that content.
It may be that your current teaching approach works, at least for the students that are like us. But if you want to reach the majority of your students, efficiently and effectively, you may want to at least consider changing your approach. Indeed, this was one of the motivations for my experiment.
But don’t take my word for it–read Chapter 2 and then decide for yourself.