At the very core, what does it take to motivate students?
Recent experiments in gamification, monetary rewards, and other task-based reward systems are designed to motivate in the short-term. Some argue that long-term learning is more affected by intrinsic motivation, rather than extrinsic rewards.
To activate intrinsic motivation, teachers should incorporate three important ideas into lessons:
- Autonomy: let students experiment and learn for themselves.
- Relatedness: give students goals and help them achieve them.
- Competence: adapt lessons and targets to student abilities.
Of course, experienced teachers already understand these ideas, but it doesn’t hurt to refocus efforts once in a while.
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