Raising Student Motivation During the Pandemic

Decorative: A student wearing a mask using a laptop


1. "Raising Student Motivation During the Pandemic" (post) outlines "approaches for constructive student engagement that can help raise student motivation" -- ways for instructors to "kee[p] students motivated while not letting their own morale down."

  • "Student motivation will be a major concern, irrespective of which study model is adopted: online, blended, hybrid, or a myriad variation."

2. "The Boomerang Principle"

  • "[T]eaching is based on the 'Boomerang principle,' which implies what one gives, one gets in return."
  • "[T]he more effort that is spent to motivate students to keep students constructively engaged, the better the chances are for students to reciprocate, to get involved, and to progress."
  • "Continuous student involvement and engagement adds fuel to teacher motivation, which completes the circle." 

3. Principles and Strategies to Engage and Motivate

  • Each point/strategy is developed more fully in the post.

a. “If students believe they can do it, they are motivated to try." 

  • "Desig[n] tasks that are challenging for accomplished students while not overwhelming other students."
  • Consider using "technology and visual tools," "[b]undling up tasks with online technology aids," and/or "option[s] to obtain extra credit."

b. “If the student doesn’t think effort makes a difference, they won’t expend any."

  • "[S]tudents’ motivation increases when they are given the chance to make choices and exercise some control over learning.”
  • "Student feedback on various topics like the progress of course, course content, associated tasks, online aids used, etc., should be considered at regular intervals, and their suggestions, if feasible, should be incorporated." 

3.  "Higher levels of interest and intrinsic motivation motivate students." 

  • "Students can catch motivation from a teacher who is obviously, unabashedly in love with the content and teaching.
  • "Motivation begets motivation."
  • "[D]iligently select online, in-person, or hybrid tasks that are out of the box and motivate students."

4. "Higher levels of value motivate students."

  • "[M]ake clear the importance, usefulness, and relevance of the content and associated activities.
  • "Students should understand the value attached with what they are learning and where it will be applied in their future lives to keep them motivated."
  • Direct "students ...  to find out through directed readings and experiential learning the relevance and future application of each topic." 

5. "Goals motivate and direct students."

  • "[S]tudents aren’t motivated solely by academic goals, like those related to mastery (comprehension of content) and performance (grades)."
  • "[G]reater use of cooperative and collaborative group work ... includes opportunities to attain both social and academic goals.”
  • "Google offers various tools for online collaboration."
  • "Online games, when coupled with learning, provide a wonderful study aid to reinforce course information."
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