Journal on Empowering Teaching Excellence


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The decline in English majors has energized instructors to upskill for the post-COVID Gen Z student. Toward that end, this small-scale (n=20), one-semester study of an upper-division literature class identifies the preferred learning styles of English majors at a public comprehensive regional university in Kentucky. The participants represent national English major demographics. The research methods are quantitative and qualitative. Eight figures and an appendix are included. Three guidelines emerge for responding to the needs of Gen Z students: 1) keep communication brief, 2) co-create, and 3) interact in-person. The findings about English major learning preferences uphold cross-disciplinary research on active learning in the post-COVID era by indicating ways our teaching styles can keep pace with the needs of our changing majors. In addition to the participants’ experience in the investigator’s course, the survey collects their experience of teaching styles in six core courses in the English major. One drawback of the study is the small participant sampling. Future studies might investigate the difference between students’ preferred learning styles and instructors’ actual teaching styles. Building the English major back better calls for putting accepted theory into reskilled practices.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.