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As students descend on campuses across the country in the coming weeks, the vast majority will be Millennials. With a high school graduation rate of 72 percent and a college enrollment rate of 68 percent it’s safe to say that Millennials are on track to surpass the number of college-educated Gen-Xers and Baby Boomers in the next few years. According to Pew Research conducted two years ago, 64 percent of millennial women and 55 percent of millennial men had some college education or had earned a bachelor’s or higher degree. These digital natives have influenced higher education greatly already and will continue to do so, says a research review published by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation.
As a generational cohort, Millennials bring some consistent attitudes, values and expectations with them. The research review cited above notes that their “… optimism, structure, team orientation, and a confidence bordering on entitlement,” are changing how higher education institutions approach communicating with and educating these students. From redesigning spaces to support a less formal, group-oriented learning (fewer lecterns and auditoriums) to acquiring academic research tools designed for digitally-savvy students, universities recognize the need to evolve. And so does LexisNexis.
At the end of 2015, we conducted a MindSumo challenge to gather input from Millennials on what they want from an academic research tool. MindSumo crowdsources ideas from college students across the U.S. and Canada to fuel innovation. To ensure students offered creative and aspirational feedback about their research experiences—regardless of the tool used—the challenge did not reference LexisNexis. What did we learn? Millennials want:
We are now using the insights we gained to help determine what a next-generation Academic product needs in order to deliver a superior user experience that fits students’ workflows and meets their research goals. What are you doing to adapt to digital natives?