Teaching the virtual generation

Luigi Proserpio, Dennis A. Gioia

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

208 Scopus citations


Using Gioia and Brass' 1986 article, "Teaching the TV Generation," as a point of departure for considering our current instructional environment, we focus on a relatively recent development that once again has implications for our teaching pedagogies: that we are, in fact, no longer teaching a verbal, nor even just a visual, but now a virtual generation of students. Technological and social changes in the wider environment can have major implications for teaching and learning pedagogies - i.e., optimal teaching and learning occur when teaching styles align with learning styles. For that reason, we consider some key learning principles in light of the learning styles of our current generation of students, who are quite facile with virtual technologies. We argue that the effective use of some electronic learning tools can provide useful and engaging means for their education by addressing this generation's preferences for virtual media while also enabling student-directed interactivity (via online searches, games, simulations, etc.). We first articulate the conceptual grounds for arguing that there has been another shift in the teaching and learning environment we now face - which implies some necessary adaptation of traditional learning principles. We then discuss: (a) some technologies and applications (mainly Internet-based tools and videogames) that can facilitate the convergence between virtual generation (V-Gen) preferences and classroom interactions; (b) some guidelines for using these technologies to fulfil these learning principles and; (c) some pitfalls that can occur and how to avoid them. Copyright of the Academy of Management, all rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-80
Number of pages12
JournalAcademy of Management Learning and Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


Dive into the research topics of 'Teaching the virtual generation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this