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Motivating learners

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  • 1. Motivating Learners
  • 2. What is motivation?• Cannot be measured• Dynamic: it changes in a moment!• Based on – Energy – Immediate wants – Feelings – And all other obligations
  • 3. Two types:• Intrinsic: – Learn for inherent interests, for self-fulfillment, enjoyment and to achieve a mastery• Extrinsic – Learn in order to perform and succeed for the sake of accomplishing a specific result or outcome. (Grades)
  • 4. Suggestions• Give frequent, early, positive feedback that supports students beliefs that they can do well.• Ensure opportunities for students success by assigning tasks that are neither too easy nor too difficult.• Help students find personal meaning and value in the material.• Create an atmosphere that is open and positive.• Help students feel that they are valued members of a learning community.
  • 5. Reference Most of the content in this presentation comes directly from this book. Davis, B. G. (1993) Tools for Teaching. San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass.
  • 6. Establish a sense of belonging• Students respond to an instructor that• demonstrates warmth and openness,• encourages student participation,• is enthusiastic,• friendly and helpful• organized and prepared for class Make it relevant• Use current news events, pop culture, technology
  • 7. Go beyond gradesCapitalize on students existing needs. Students learn best when incentivesfor learning in a classroom satisfy their own motives for enrolling in thecourse. Address needs that satisfy a need to – learn something in order to complete a particular task – seek new experiences – perfect skills – overcome challenges – become competent – succeed and do well – feel involved and to interact with other people.• Design assignments, in-class activities, and discussion questions to address these kinds of needs. (p. 194)
  • 8. Make students active participantsStudents learn by doing, making, writing,designing, creating, solving. – Pose questions. Dont tell students something when you can ask them. – Encourage students to suggest approaches to a problem or to guess the results of an experiment. – Use small group work. (p. 194)
  • 9. Ask students what motivates themE.J. Sass, in Motivation in the College Classroom, reports that studentsidentify eight characteristics as major contributors to student motivation: 1. Instructors enthusiasm 2. Relevance of the material 3. Organization of the course 4. Appropriate difficulty level of the material 5. Active involvement of students 6. Variety 7. Rapport between teacher and students 8. Use of appropriate, concrete, and understandable examples (p. 194)
  • 10. Hold high but realistic expectations for yourstudents – high enough to motivate students to do their best work but not so high that students will inevitably be frustrated in trying to meet those expectations – provide early opportunities for successHelp students set achievable goals for themselves – Encourage students to focus on their continued improvement, not just on their grade on any one test or assignment. – Have students submit self-evaluation forms with one or two assignments. (p. 195)
  • 11. Be clear about what is expected• Tell students what they need to do to succeed in your course.• Provide suggestions for how they can learn the materials• As how you can help
  • 12. Strengthen students self-motivation• Use language that emphasizes their autonomy, such as "I think you will find. . . " or "I will be interested in your reaction."• Avoid language that emphasizes extrinsic rewards such as "I require" or "you must” – These statements emphasize grades rather than learning. (p. 195)
  • 13. Avoid intense competition• Competition produces anxiety, which can interfere with learning.• Reduce students tendencies to compare themselves to one another.• Students learn better through cooperative group learning• Avoid public comments about any student’s performance p. 196
  • 14. Be enthusiastic!• Enthusiasm in your subject is a crucial factor in student motivation.• Try to devise examples, case studies, or assignments that relate the course content to students interests and experiences.• Explain how the content and objectives of your course will help students achieve their educational, professional, or personal goals. p. 196
  • 15. Student ChoicesLet students have some say in choosing whatwill be studied.• Give students options on assignments – Let students choose their topics or approach for fulfilling the assignment – Provide choices of assignments that meet the same objectives p. 196
  • 16. Increase the difficulty of the material as the semesterprogresses.• Give students opportunities to succeed at the beginning of the semester.• Once students feel they can succeed, you can gradually increase the difficulty level.Vary your teaching methods.• Incorporating a variety of teaching activities and methods in your course: role playing, debates, brainstorming, discussion, demonstration s, case studies, audiovisual presentations, guest speakers, or small group work p. 197
  • 17. De-emphasize gradesEmphasize mastery and learning• eliminating complex systems of credit points;• Avoid using grades to control nonacademic behavior (for example, lowering grades for attendance)• assign ungraded written work,• stress the personal satisfaction of doing assignments, and• help students measure their progress. p. 197
  • 18. Test what you want students to learn• Do they only need to memorize, recall, identify facts?• Or do you want them to synthesize and evaluate information?• They will prepare for the test, so have them prepare for what you are seeking.Avoid using grades as threats.– It leads to unproductive behaviors in many– Only those who seek extrinsic rewards respond p. 197
  • 19. Give students feedback as quickly as possible.• Return tests and papers promptly, and reward success immediately.• Be specific in your feedback – tell them why it was good or how to improveReward success.• Research consistently indicates that students are more affected by positive feedback and success.• Recognize sincere efforts even if the product is less than stellar.• If a students performance is weak, let the student know that you believe he or she can improve and succeed over time. p. 197
  • 20. Share examples• Share the ideas, knowledge, and accomplishments of individual students• Make available copies of the best papers and essay exams from previous semesters.• Provide class time for students to read papers or assignments submitted by classmates. Have them peer review.• Honor a student’s experience or work by inviting them to be a “guest speaker” in your current course. p. 197
  • 21. • Give students time to complete the reading assignments. – Try to pique their curiosity about the reading: "This article is one of my favorites, and Ill be interested to see what you think about it• Assign study questions. – To provide extra incentive for students, tell them you will base exam questions on the study questions. p. 199
  • 22. Invite students to turn in brief notes on thedays reading that they can then use duringexams. – You review them, initial them, and return them to students at the time of the exam. Those who submitted them have the extra help.• Challenge students to synthesize the reading – Have them write just one sentence – Or, an alternative - give them a word limit, then cut it in half. Then half it again. And again! (40 words, then 20 words, then 10, then 5…) p. 199
  • 23. Ask nonthreatening questions about thereading. – "Can you give me one or two items from the chapter that seem important?" – "What section of the reading do you think we should review?" – "What item in the reading surprised you?" – "What topics in the chapter can you apply to your own experience
  • 24. ReferenceDavis, B. G. (1993) Tools for Teaching. SanFrancisco, CA: Jossey Bass.

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