Student-Inspired Optimal Design of Online Learning for Generation Z

Eunjyu Yu, SUNY Canton


This article identifies factors that help Generation Z students succeed in a fully online learning environment for communication skills. Out of a diverse number of learner characteristics, the learners’ home institutions significantly impacted their preference for instructional delivery modality. The participants described a flexible schedule and instant access as the best features of a fully online course, but they demanded more real-time interactions with teachers and peers, multimedia resources, and a variety of apps. Last, the participants indicated that metacognitive and thinking skills are key to succeeding in a fully online course. Detailed suggestions are made at the end to optimize fully online courses for Generation Z students.

Keywords: Generation Z, online learning, communication skills

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