"faculty CANNOT motivate students, as motivation is a personal construct and can only come from within… we can only set the scene and create a motivating environment for learning."Student Motivation is defined as a “student's willingness, need, desire and compulsion to participate in, and be successful in, the learning process" (Bomia et al., 1997, p. 1). This includes extrinsic motivation, where a student engages in learning "purely for the sake of attaining a reward or for avoiding some punishment and intrinsic motivation, when a student is motivated from within, actively engaging in learning out of curiosity, interest, or enjoyment, or in order to achieve their own intellectual and personal goals (Dev, 1997).
One analogy presented was:
To Catch a Cat…STRATEGIES -- Ideas that WORK!! (GENERAL)
A. Pull the cat out from under the couch
B. Entice the cat by dangling a string
(p.s. - our students are the cats!)
- Capitalize on students' existing needs
- Make students active participants in learning
- Ask students to analyze what makes their classes more or less "motivating.”
- Instructor's enthusiasm
- Relevance of the material
- Organization of the course
- Appropriate difficulty level of the material
- Active involvement of students
- Rapport between teacher and students
- Use of appropriate, concrete, and understandable examples
- Hold high but realistic expectations for your learners
- Help learners set achievable goals for themselves
- Tell learners what they need to do to succeed in your course
- Strengthen learners’ sense of power (behavioral choices)
- Avoid creating intense competition among learners
- Be enthusiastic about your course
- Take time to GET TO KNOW learners, talk to them, and express enjoyment in your interactions
- Vary your teaching methods
- Assign the reading at least two sessions before it will be discussed
- Assign study questions
- If your class is small, have learners turn in brief notes on the day's reading that they can use during exam (Jodi’s “C option”)
- Ask learners to write a one-word journal or one- sentence journal summarizing the reading
- Ask non-threatening questions about the reading (fishbowl)
* POWER - I have control over my learning.
* CONNECTEDNESS - I am a valued member of a learning community.
* MODELS - I can do this because my peers can do it.
* UNIQUENESS - I am an original learner.
(Stevenson, 1992; modified by Haney, 2007)
Dr. Haney encourages all of us (including herself) to focus on incorporating just one or two of these strategies during a semester, reflect on the change throughout, and continue to analyze and build upon them in the future.
What are strategies you use to create an environment where students are motivated to learn? Any other thoughts or comments on this issue?