Motivating Students2018-11-19T12:06:27+00:00

Project Description

Motivating Students

Meeting needs

Students are most motivated to learn when they feel they are competent, they belong to and are supported by a community, and they are in control of their own learning i.e. autonomous” (Svinicki 2016, p.6).

Self-Determination Theory (SDT)

Self-determination theory is a theory of motivation in which the basic needs of feeling competent, autonomous and related to others are being met. Thwarting these needs can lead to controlled motivation (i.e. pressure to behave in certain ways) or being unmotivated (Deci & Ryan 2012).

  • Competent: Students “must believe that they can understand and operate competently in their environment” (Svinicki 2016, p.7).
  • Autonomous: Students “need to feel that they are in control of their environment” (Svinicki 2016, p.7).
  • Belonging: Students “need to feel that they are part of a group, and accepted and supported by it as they continue to develop” (Svinicki 2016, p.7).

Learning Context

Strategies for motivating students

Teaching Method

Display personal interest in students and their learning

SDT Category

Feel Belonging

Teaching Method

Find ways to help students answer their own questions

SDT Category

Feel competent & Feel Autonomous

Teaching Method

Explain course material clearly and concisely

SDT Category

Feel Competent

Teaching Method

Help students interpret subject matter from diverse perspectives

SDT Category

Feel Belonging

Teaching Method

Form team or groups to facilitate learning

SDT Category

Feel Belonging

Teaching Method

Encourage Students to reflect on and evaluate what they have learned

SDT Category

Feel Competent

Teaching Method

Provide meaningful feedback on the academic performance of students

SDT Category

Feel Competent

Teaching Method

Give tests, projects, etc. that cover important points of the course

SDT Category

Feel Competent

Teaching Method

Ask students to share ideas and experiences with others whose backgrounds and viewpoints differ from their own

SDT Category

Feel Competent

Teaching Method

Ask students to share ideas and experiences with others whose backgrounds and viewpoints differ from their own

SDT Category

Feel Competent

Teaching Method

Give projects, tests or assignments that require original or creative thinking

SDT Category

Feel Autonomous

Teaching Method

Include learning contracts where students identify gaps in knowledge to create personal learning journeys

SDT Category

Feel Autonomous

Teaching Method

Ask students to help each other understand ideas or concepts

SDT Category

Feel Competent

Teaching Method

Involve students in hands on projects like research and case studies

SDT Category

Feel Competent

References

  • Deci, ED & Ryan RM 2012, ‘Motivation, personality, and development within embedded social contexts: An overview of self-determination theory’, in RM Ryan (ed.), The Oxford handbook of human motivation, Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK, pp. 85-107
  • Svinicki, MD 2016, Motivation: An updated analysis, IDEA Paper #59, IDEAedu, viewed 2 March 2018, Link