8th Teaching & Education Conference, Vienna

GENERATION Z IN HIGHER EDUCATION - TEXT READING STRATEGIES

KATERIINA RANNULA, SIRET PIIRSALU, ELLE SÕRMUS

Abstract:

According to Nugin et al. (2016) it is not always easy to determine the exact date of birth of every generation as the transitions have been found to be difficult to pinpoint. (Nugin et al. 2016: 13). According to Seemiller and Grace (2015), the representatives of generation Z are born between 1995 to 2010 and have already entered the higher education. Reading online has become one of the most widely used sources of knowledge for learners, especially in the academic contexts (Zarrabi, 2015), thus it is not surprising that for generation Z visual media may as well have the most substantial impact whereas internet and smart devices are the main means of communication making it possible for every question to be answered immediately. In a pilot study started in Tallinn Health Care College, a questionnaire was conducted among the representatives of generation Z with an aim to retrieve information about the medium of texts read in the learning process. The question offered a range of possible answers to mark the level of one's preferences: 0-20%, 21-40%, 41-60%, 61-80%, 81-100%. The range 41-60% was most often selected to demonstrate paper to be the most preferred medium of text by 44% of the respondents. The range 21-40% was most often selected to be the preferred medium by 37% of the respondents. Smart devices were marked to be slightly less important with the range 0-20% being selected by 29% of the respondents. Questions on the preferred language of search words and choice of text language were also included in the pilot questionnaire. The interpretation of the results suggests that most of the reading at Estonian schools is done from the printed materials whereas students show similar interest and habits in reading from online sources. The search terms were preferred to be in the learner's native language, as for the text language, the preferred language was also learner's native language which was closely followed by English language. The results direct the authors toward further research to investigate the strategies of working with texts keeping in mind the characteristics of Generation Z in order to use the mediums and strategies to create effective learning possibilities in higher education. Zarrabi, S. (2015). Exploring metacognitive online reading strategies of non-native English- speaking translation student. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. University of San Francisco, U.S.

Keywords: Generation Z, text reading strategies, specialty texts, academic reading

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