What makes learning enjoyable? Perspectives of today’s college students in the U.S. and Brazil
Corey Seemiller 1 * , Meghan Grace 2, Paula Dal Bo Campagnolo 3, Isa Mara Da Rosa Alves 4, Gustavo Severo De Borba 5
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1 Wright State University, Leadership Studies in Education and Organizations, USA
2 Plaid, LLC, USA
3 Unisinos University, Academic Manager and Graduation Unit, Brasil
4 Unisinos University, Postgraduate Program in Applied Linguistics, Brasil
5 Unisinos University, Undergraduate Studies Academic Unit, Brasil
* Corresponding Author


The purpose of this article is to uncover what makes learning enjoyable for Generation Z college students (born 1995-2010) in the United States (U.S.) and Brazil. Qualitative data from 1,282 participants in the U.S. and 775 participants in Brazil were analyzed independently and for comparison using content analysis and thematic coding. The results of this study show both similarities and differences between these two populations. Both groups enjoy learning that is interesting, inspiring, relevant, and engaging. U.S. students enjoy knowledge acquisition, learning for societal impact, and having instructors who are competent and relatable. Brazil students, on the other hand, enjoy peer learning. While these results align with previous research findings on preferences for learning and cultural nuances, it is important to note that studies on Generation Z college students and learning are sparse. Thus, understanding this generational cohort in higher education is paramount for both informing and supporting individual pedagogical practices and shaping training initiatives on teaching and learning in higher education. In addition, given the impact of globalization on technology, commerce, entertainment, and information, uncovering the similarities in how young people from different cultures perceive learning may have global implications on research, training, and individual instruction in a more macro and universal way. 




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