As technology continues to take an important position in education, the resized and redesigned roles of students have led to inquiries on how to optimize learning. Today, scholars recognize that motivation is one of the important factors that educators should target as they seek to improve student learning. Different theories have emerged to explain motivation, including Herzberg’s two-factor theory, ERG theory, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, and McClelland’s theory of acquired-needs.
While the tenets of these theoretical suppositions differ, it is generally agreed that motivation greatly affects learning. The key ingredients that shape student motivation include content, teacher, student, method, and environment. In this article, we take a deeper look into how educators can improve learning by supporting motivation.
Why Is Student Motivation Important?
Motivation implies the act or process of providing incentives or stimulus for individuals to perform specific tasks or achieve a certain goal. Most educators understand that one of the most challenging aspects of their jobs is keeping students involved in the learning process, particularly with the many distractions available in the form of technology.
Motivation is important because research links it to effective learning. A student who is not enthused will not retail the concepts taught in class and can even become disruptive. He or she is also likely to look for shortcuts to assignments, including seeking essay writer help from assignment companies and freelancers online. The effect of motivation is profound because it is linked to a person’s energy level and well as persistence needed to attain long-term goals. It also affects the preferred learning techniques and the thought process.
There are many reasons why a student may lack the motivation to learn. For instance, one may feel uninterested in the course or subject, or the method of instruction used may be unengaging. Students are also easily distracted by external factors, including technology and family problems. Also, teachers have to be aware that some students seem unmotivated but are actually dealing with learning disabilities and require special attention.
There are two main types of motivation to consider when looking at student motivation — intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic motivation is innate and comes from within the individual as long as the task is seen as adding value. Extrinsic, on the other hand, emerges from the student’s external environment. It is apparent, therefore, that students learn better based on the perceived value attached to tasks, personal goals, external incentives, subject matter, and many different factors.
How Can Teachers Motivate Students?
Although students have an important role in their learning, teachers also have a significant part in keeping learners motivated. The rewards are definitely the effort. After all, research shows that motivated students are more drawn to the instructional material and participate in their classroom process, making the teacher’s work more interesting. Please note that some students are intrinsically motivated, with a natural love for learning, while others may need incentives.
Here are some simple but effective strategies that teachers can use to keep students enthusiastic about learning:
Offering Positive Reinforcement and Approval
Please note that students need to know that they are doing a good job for them to remain interested in learning. The teacher needs to recognize the progress made by learners and appreciate it. Show enthusiasm and praise your students regularly.
Encourage Student Participation
Evidence shows that a student-centered approach to instruction is highly effective. One way to support students to actively engage in the classroom is to get them involved in activities. Give them responsibilities, such as decorating or tidying up classrooms. You can also ask learners to take turns reading out loud sections of the material. You can also create groups and assign roles and tasks, giving ownership to lessons, which makes students feel accomplished.
Provide Incentives and Set Goals
Setting clear expectations and goals inspires learners to participate in their education. Often, students need incentives to make classes more interesting and to motivate extra effort. Get creative and look for different activities to prevent monotony. For instance, teaching through games and incorporating technology can enrich instruction.
Offer Connections to Real-Life
Most students are unmotivated because they see no apparent link between classroom lessons and their future education and careers. To get students engaged, show them how what they are learning is relevant to their real life, not just in the future, but also in the present.
Motivation is important for effective learning. Educators have an important role to play in making students engaged in classrooms. Also, lessons should be high but attainable. Most importantly, offer feedback and provide chances for students to improve. Effective teachers understand classroom management and track the progress of their students.