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Simmons presents study findings

Dr. Tera Simmons (right) and Dr. Linda Grooms (left) presented the findings of their study on the similarities and differences learners from different generations had when it came to online learning at the American Institute of Higher Education in Buffalo, N.Y. on Oct. 11. (Submitted Photo)

Dr. Tera Simmons is intrigued by the way people learn.

She is particularly intrigued by the way people from different generations learn.

Simmons, the director of curriculum for the Butler County School System, and Dr. Linda Grooms, a professor at Regent University, decided to find out what similarities and differences learners from different generations had when it came to online learning.

“We looked at students from the Silent Generation, Baby Boomers, Generation X and Generation Y that were involved in a doctorate program to see what their preferences were when it comes to online learning,” Simmons said.

Simmons said the findings were far from shocking.

“For the most part, the findings were what we would have inferred just from looking at the ages of the students,” she said.

With a very small sampling of students from the Silent Generation in the doctorate program in the last 10 years, Simmons and Grooms were unable to accurately test their theory for how that generation prefers to learn, but they were able to document the preferred learning method for the other three generations.

Simmons said they found that Baby Boomers prefer a hybrid of face-to-face learning and online learning, while Generation X prefers exclusively online learning and Generation Y prefers to learn using the latest, most up-to-date technology.

Simmons and Grooms presented their findings at the American Institute of Higher Education in Buffalo, N.Y. on Oct. 11.

“It was an awesome experience,” Simmons said. “Not only was the area beautiful, but I was able to pick up some ideas from other educators.”

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