Who are the Millennials?

The Millennial student has been described as being special, sheltered, achieving, creative, team- oriented, pressured, and, conventional (Howe & Strauss, 2000 ).


Our Survey of Students

Best, Buhay, and McGuire (2010) conducted a ​survey to measure specific traits typically associated with Millennial students. Specifically, we wanted to examine the overall media use and competency of undergraduate students. We were also interested in examining the possible links between Multimedia use and specific Millennial characteristics.

Students from introductory psychology were invited to participate and our sample include 64 undergraduate volunteers (48 females, 16 males). Participants completed a series of questionnaires to assess their multi-media use and the six characteristics associated with Millennial students. Surveys included: the Multimedia Use Questionnaire (Ophir, Nass, & Wagner, 2009); Creative Achievement Questionnaire (Carson, Peterson, & Higgins, 2005), Rotter’s Locus of Control Scale (Rotter, 1966), and the Millennial Characteristics Questionnaire. In our sample, 58 students were born after 1982 and were classified as Millennial Students and 6 students were born before 1982 and were classified as Non-Millennials. Although the samples are not comparable, it is interesting to that there were no differences between the older and younger students on the Millennial Characteristics Questionnaire.

Is the Millennial a Myth?

Koc (2008) argues that the idea of specific differenes between the Millennial and past generations is not wholly true.



Best, L., Buhay, D., & McGuire, K. (2010). Technology use in Millennial students: Are they obsessed or competent? Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education.

Borges, N., Manuel, S., Elam, C. & Jones, B. (2006). Comparing Millennial and Generation X medical students at one medical school. Academic Medicine, 8 (6), 571-576. Available online at

Carson, S., Peterson, J. B., & Higgins, D. M. (2005). Reliability, validity, and factor structure of the Creative Achievement Questionnaire. Creativity Research Journal, 17, 37–50.

Donnison. S. (2007). Unpacking the millennials: A cautionary tale for teacher education. Australian Journal of Teachher Education, 32 (3), 1-13.

Grady, C., Springer, M., Hongwanishkul, D., McIntosh, A. & Winocur, G. (2006). Age-related changes in brain activity across the lifesan. Cognitive Neuroscience, 18 (2), 227-241.

Howe, N., & Strauss, W. (2000). Millennials rising: The next great generation. New York: Vintage Books.

Jonas-Dwyer, D. & Pospisil, R. (2004). The millennial effect: Implications for academic development. Avaialble online at

Mangold, K. (2007). Educating a new generation: Teaching baby boomer faculty about millenninal students. Nurse Educator, 32 (1), 21-23.

McMahon, M. & Pospisil, R. (2005). Laptops for a digital lifestyle: Millennial students and wireless mobile technologies. Available online at

Moore, S. (2007). Retrospective insights on teaching: Exploring teaching excellence through the eyes of the alumni. Journal of Further and Higher Education, 31, 133-143.

Ophir, E., Nass, C., & Wagner, A. D. (2009). Cognitive control in media multitaskers.
The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106, 15583-15587.

Poindexter, S. (2003) The case for holistic learning. Change, 35 (1), 24-30.

Raines, C. (2002). Connecting generations: The sourcebook for a new workplace. Menlo Park, Calif: Crisp Publications.

Rickman, J., & Grudzinski, M. (2000). Student expectations of information technology use in the classroom.
Educause, 23, 24-30.

Rideout, V. J., Foehr, U. G., & Roberts, D. F. (2010). GENERATION M2. Media in the lives of 8- to 18-Year-Olds. A Kaiser Family Foundation Study. Available online at http://www.kff.org/entmedia/upload/8010.pdf.

Rotter, J.B. (1966). Generalized expectancies of internal versus external control of reinforcements. Psychological Monographs, 80 (whole no. 609).

Wilson, M. (2004). Teaching, learning and millennial students. New Directions for Student Services, 106, 59-71. Available online at


More Resources to Explore

Generation WE: The Movement begins.....

Neil Howe on the Millennial Generation