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Assessing Generation Z and Alpha Students: A New Challenge

Generation Z, also known as iGen or post-Millennials, refers to individuals born between 1997 and 2012. They are the first generation to have grown up with smartphones and the internet, and as a result, they have a unique set of characteristics and needs when it comes to assessment.

Alpha refers to the group of people born after 2012, they are considered to be the first generation of fully digital natives, they are considered to have different characteristics and needs than the previous generations.

When assessing Generation Z and Alpha, it's important to keep in mind the following best practices:

  • Utilize technology: Both Generation Z and Alpha are highly tech-savvy and are used to using technology in their daily lives. Incorporating technology into assessments, such as online quizzes or interactive activities, can make the assessment process more engaging and relevant to these students. (Chen, 2019)

  • Provide immediate feedback: Generation Z and Alpha are used to getting immediate feedback on their actions, such as likes and comments on social media. Providing immediate feedback on assessments can help keep students engaged and motivated. (Kirschner & Karpinski, 2010)

  • Incorporate choice and flexibility: Generation Z and Alpha value choice and flexibility in their learning. Allowing students to choose their own assessment tasks or methods can increase their ownership and engagement in the assessment process. (McMillan & Hearn, 2008)

  • Use authentic assessment: Authentic assessments, such as projects or performance tasks, can provide a more comprehensive evaluation of student learning and align with the real-world problem-solving skills that Generation Z and Alpha will need in the future. (Newmann, Wehlage, & Lamborn, 1992)

  • Be mindful of the digital divide: It's important to note that not all students have equal access to technology and the internet. Therefore, it is important to provide alternative methods of assessment for students who lack the necessary technology or internet access. (Warschauer & Matuchniak, 2010)

In conclusion, assessing Generation Z and Alpha requires a different approach than previous generations. Utilizing technology, providing immediate feedback, incorporating choice and flexibility, using authentic assessment, and being mindful of the digital divide are all key considerations when assessing this new generation of students. These best practices are supported by research in the field of education.


Chen, W. (2019). Meeting the needs of digital natives: A review of the literature on the use of technology for teaching and learning. Journal of Educational Technology Development and Exchange, 12(1), 1-15.

Kirschner, P. A., & Karpinski, A. C. (2010). Facebook and academic performance. Computers in Human Behavior, 26(6), 1237-1245.

McMillan, J. H., & Hearn, J. (2008). Student engagement in instructional activity: Patterns in the elementary, middle, and high school years. Educational Researcher, 37(5), 323-329.

Newmann, F. M., Wehlage, G. G., & Lamborn, S. D. (1992). The significance and sources of student engagement. In Student engagement and achievement in American secondary schools (pp. 11-39). Teachers College Press.

Warschauer, M., & Matuchniak, T. (2010). New technology and digital worlds: Analyzing evidence of equity in access, use, and outcomes.

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