n South African Journal of Higher Education - A glimpse of Generation-Y in higher education : some implications for teaching and learning environments

Volume 28, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



Every generation has unique and different characteristics which distinguish it from every other generation. This may result in respective wants and needs which may differ considerably. Students born between 1980 and 1996 (generally the early 1980s to early 2000s) are often labelled as Generation-Y, the Net Generation (Net Gen), Millennials or Digital Natives. These labels reflect the younger generation's upbringing, where information communication technology (ICT) is the norm. Research indicates that traditional teaching methods and materials need to be adapted to improve the match between the needs and preferences of Generation-Y students. Therefore, the current study was done to provide broad trends in students' perceptions of the inclusion of e-learning technologies in their courses and their use of interactive social media sites. The study illustrated that the majority of the participants access and use social network sites regularly. The findings may, therefore, be used to illustrate the importance of the inclusion of electronic, social network-based and mobi-type teaching and learning opportunities. University staff members, therefore, need to take heed of generational trends and the impact of the learning needs of Generation-Y students in this sector, as many of these students are currently in the higher education (HE) system.

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