4 questions teachers should ask themselves to improve their students’ motivation

by Barbara Myslik
Ph.D. student, University of Florida

Barbara Myslik

Barbara Myslik

Motivating students to can be one of the most challenging tasks a teacher faces, but it can also be one of the most exciting. There are several factors important to consider when thinking of ways to achieve that goal.

Here are four questions teachers should ask themselves as they consider how to motivate their students.

Question #1: Is the student intrinsically or extrinsically motivated? (Motivation type)

Students who learn for their own satisfaction, and are motivated by internal factors, more then by external rewards, respond well to tasks that are both challenging and give them sense of personal control. For an intrinsically motivated student sense of control over the task is fun and rewarding, so it is important to let them create as much of their learning experience as possible.

Students motivated by external rewards respond well when the subject is made applicable to them. It is important to praise their accomplishments, as positive feedback motivates them to work harder. Also, introducing an element of friendly competition can work really well for an extrinsically motivated student.
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Consider different learning styles when you plan your teaching

by Jessica Marsh
Master’s student, University of Florida

A learning style is defined as the preferred, or best, method for an individual to gain knowledge. It is important to realize that though a student (or yourself) may have a preferred method of learning, learning styles are not fixed. This means that learning styles can be developed and improved over time. So if you took the quiz below and learned you were primarily an auditory learner you can still work on developing skills to become a better visual, or tactile learner.

Learning styles are unique like fingerprints. They vary from individual to individual and from subject to subject. You may use a different learning style when attempting to learn Algebra than you do attempting to learn Chemistry. Similarly learning styles can vary based on what you are being asked to do with the information (synthesize, memorize, apply, construct, etc.). When constructing assignments and presentations, it’s important to

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