Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Lisa Haddad

Committee Members

Myra Carew, Sharon Loury, James Payne


Aim. The aim of this study was to examine the generational differences of undergraduate nursing students’ learning style preferences and their preferred faculty teaching methods to the teaching methods used most often by nursing faculty in the classroom.

Background. Nursing educators are responsible for creating learning environments that are effective for students that are in different generations and nursing educational pathways. Each generational cohort brings a collective set of characteristics, expectations, and preferences to the classroom, challenging educators to balance the generational learning styles of all students with respectable, evidence-based, pedagogical approaches. This study was one of the first to explore Generation Z’s preferred teaching method preferences used in the classroom.

Method. Both descriptive and inferential statistical procedures were used for this study. A one-sample Wilcoxon signed-rank test was performed to evaluate the difference between each of the learning style preferences, followed by a Kruskal-Wallis test that compared the generational differences to the learning styles. A Likelihood-ratio Chi-square (LR χ2) was performed to assess for association between generational cohorts and their preferred teaching methods used in the classroom.

Results. One hundred eighty-four undergraduate nursing students; and sixty-seven nursing faculty from ten Southeastern states were included in the sample for this study. Using the Index of Learning Styles® survey, results found nursing students had either a balanced active/reflective and sequential/global learning style, or a sensing or visual learning styles. With regards to preferred teaching methods, lecture, and the use of visual aids in the classroom were identified as the top teaching methods preferred by both student and faculty participants.

Conclusion. Nurse educators are responsible for creating learning environments that are inclusive of students from diverse generational cohorts, spanning six decades and in multiple nursing educational pathways. These results provide new information for nursing educators to utilize in various academic settings.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.

Included in

Nursing Commons