ERIC Number: ED202409
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Aug
Motivating Students. IDEA Paper No. 1.
Cashin, William E.
Research results and suggestions concerning motivating college students are considered. Some research has indicated that motivation to learn in school is not fixed, but it is not changed drastically in short time periods either. It has been suggested that students who are not motivated to learn resist new information, and use categorical reasoning (good or bad) rather than an evaluative continuum. Research has also indicated that after controlling for the students' initial desire to take the course, student motivation is correlated to some extent with the instructor's enthusiasm and expressiveness. A variety of traditional teaching approaches was also found to be motivating (clear explanations, clear learning objectives, flexible teaching approaches, summarizing course material). Suggestions for improving student motivation are grouped under the following headings: begin where the students are; establish the relevance of the course material; involve the student in the choice of what will be studied, where possible; arrange learning tasks at levels appropriate to the abilities of your students; reward the students; consider the advantages of the discovery method; and use teacher-student interactions. Among the conclusions are the following: (1) motivation is a significant variable in a student's readiness and willingness to learn; (2) students are curious and do have a sincere desire to know and understand; (3) these assets can be capitalized upon if the learning situation provides for successful accomplishments at a fairly consistent rate; and (4) teachers can create an atmosphere where learning will be more efficient by stimulating student commitment and motivation. (SW)
Descriptors: Academic Aspiration, Classroom Techniques, College Faculty, College Students, Course Organization, Higher Education, Learning Motivation, Reinforcement, Student Motivation, Student Needs, Student Teacher Relationship, Teacher Effectiveness, Teaching Methods
Kansas State University, Center for Faculty Evaluation and Development, 1627 Anderson Ave., Box 3000, Manhattan, KS 66502.
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Kansas State Univ., Manhattan. Center for Faculty Evaluation and Development in Higher Education.