Training Generation N: how educators should approach the Net Generation

Jeff Feiertag (UMBC (University of Maryland, Baltimore County), Baltimore, Maryland, USA)
Zane L. Berge (UMBC (University of Maryland, Baltimore County), Baltimore, Maryland, USA)

Education + Training

ISSN: 0040-0912

Publication date: 12 September 2008



The purpose of this paper is to explore generational differences between Generation N (persons born 1980 and after) and previous generations with regard to teaching and learning.


This viewpoint article reviews selected literature, synthesizing those articles with opinions on how to approach Generation N for education and training.


Generation N students and employees possess certain key traits that translate into learning in school and the business world. Generation N employees are often not as independent as their predecessor generations requiring more structure, guidance and regular feedback. They prefer working collaboratively, do not respond well to the lecture, often do not communicate effectively by traditional standards, require information individually tailored to them, and require technology that is available to use. These characteristics of Gen Ns indicate that instructional designers in schools or the workplace should make appropriate adjustments when facilitating the new generation's learning.


With a rather widespread concern by educators and managers that today's graduates do not possess the critical thinking and other skills needed for the business world, this article lends a perspective on how to approach Generation N learners.



Feiertag, J. and Berge, Z. (2008), "Training Generation N: how educators should approach the Net Generation", Education + Training, Vol. 50 No. 6, pp. 457-464.

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Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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