Teacher Tap

The Learners: Motivation

Student sleeping with laptopMotivation is the energy directed at particular behaviors. When a person is motivated to learn, they are engaged in course materials and activities.

Motivation is one of the most important factors in learning. Without a positive disposition toward and commitment to learning, students are likely to fall behind, drop out, or do poorly in online courses.

Motivating online learners is particularly difficult because the instructor must rely on the approaches that can be applied at a distance.

Intrinsic vs Extrinsic Motivation

Intrinsic motivation comes from within a person including personal, professional and academic desires; the need to conform or succeed; or the thrill of a challenge. Online students are more likely to be intrinsically motivated if they:

Extrinsic motivation is driven by external forces and structures such as increases in pay for course credit and rewards for program completion. Consider how you might incorporate the following elements to increase extrinsic motivation:

questionApply It!
What motivates you?
How is motivation different in face-to-face versus online courses?
What challenges do you face in motivating online students?

 

Suggestions for Motivating Online Learners

Motivate your online learners through ongoing encouragement, course clarity, meaningful materials, and learner engagement.

Motivate through Ongoing Encouragement

Motivate through Course Clarity

Motivate through Meaningful Materials

Motivate through Learner Engagement

To learn more about motivation, go to Virtual Information Inquiry: Motivation.

Apply It!
questionWhile some of the suggestions for motivation can be built into the course, others require an ongoing commitment by the instructor.

When focusing on content development, it's easy for developers for forget about the importance of motivation. Brainstorm a list of reminders as you develop online content and activities.

remindersReminders!
Motivation is particularly challenging in online courses.
Motivation can be intrinsic or extrinsic.

Motivate your online learners through
- ongoing encouragement,
- course clarity,
- meaningful materials, and
- learner engagement.


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