Most of you attending college today are called millennial students or just “millennials.” In Canada the Millennial generation is called the “Sunshine” generation. Millennials were born 1982 (approximate) through 2004. For additional info just Google “Millennials.”
The standard or traditional “teaching/learning paradigm” is your typical classroom setting of student chairs lined in rows and a professor talks to you (lecture). Also typical is the college/ university lecture hall of theater style seating accommodating hundreds of students. This is also considered the most efficient method of instructional delivery, but the most ineffective. The student is not involved in the learning process, other than a few overhead questions for the class. The teacher speaks and you – listen! Lecture most of the time ensures the teacher talks and you do not! Unfortunately, most college/university class rooms are structured to accommodate this traditional teaching paradigm; student desks lined up in rows and the lectern (yes lectern, not podium) in front of the classroom. This is necessary as the colleges/universities must accommodate a large number of students every year.
Training (Learning) starts by creating “participant centered opportunities for learning to take place.” [(Pike, Robert W., 1994: Creative Training Techniques Handbook, 2nd Edition. Lakewood Books, Minneapolis, p. 197). Many CJ classes have adopted “instructor-led, participant centered training” allowing the student’s energy, involvement and participation to achieve – learning! Buzan, in his book, “Use Both Sides of Your Brain” states “adults listen with understanding for 90 minutes but only listen with retention for 20 minutes.” One designer of training materials suggests the 90/20/8 rule. He says, "No module we teach ever runs more than 90 minutes, the pace is changed at least every 20 minutes, and we try to find a way to involve people in the content every 8 minutes.” [Pike].
So what does this mean? It means that the instructor and the students need a change-up every 20 minutes! We are conditioned for 8 minutes of information. Television/cable shows will interrupt the movie every 8 minutes or so for a commercial.