Study Guide

Topics: Motivation, Student, Work Pages: 18 (5750 words) Published: March 12, 2013
“Students lack interest or motivation”

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Students see little value in the course or its content.
Regardless of the objective value of an activity or topic, if students do not recognize its value, they may not be motivated to expend effort. However, if students clearly see how coursework connects to their goals, interests, and concerns, they will be more likely to value it, and thus more motivated to invest time and effort. -------------------------------------------------

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Students do not believe that their efforts will improve their performance. -------------------------------------------------

If students do not believe that their efforts are likely to improve their performance, they will not be motivated to work hard. Motivation can be affected, for instance, if a course that has a reputation for being inordinately difficult. Students may also have had discouraging experiences in similar courses or on early assignments in a course that convince them they cannot do the work. Additionally, students have beliefs about intelligence and learning that can affect their motivation. If they believe learning is generally fast and easy (and should not be slow or arduous), they may lose motivation when they encounter challenges. Similarly, if they believe intelligence is a fixed quantity (something you do or do not have, but not something you acquire over time), they may not see the point of extra effort. Finally, if students attribute their success to their innate talents rather than effort, they may not be motivated to work. This can happen whether they believe they possess the necessary abilities (“I’m a good writer; I don’t need to start my paper early”) or lack them (“I’m just no good at math. What’s the point of trying?”) -------------------------------------------------

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Students are demotivated by the structure and allocation of rewards. -------------------------------------------------
The structure and allocation of rewards in a course can encourage or discourage effort in several important ways. First, students may lose motivation to work on particular tasks if they do not feel that there will be a payoff for their time and effort. For example, students may not keep up with the readings for a class if that knowledge is not needed to complete exams and assignments. Second, students may not do an assignment well if the time and effort required is incommensurate with the points they would earn. Third, students may lose motivation to work on specific elements of an assignment if their efforts in those areas are not rewarded (for example, if an instructor urges students to write original arguments, but bases grades primarily on organization and mechanics). In addition to the structure of rewards, the allocation of rewards can influence motivation. Indeed, students may not be motivated to strive for excellence if the instructor does not draw a sufficient distinction between excellent and poor performance. Furthermore, students’ motivation will likely suffer if they believe the grading criteria are unclear or inconsistently applied. -------------------------------------------------

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Students do not perceive the classroom climate as supportive. -------------------------------------------------
Students’ motivation to exert effort in a course or persist in a major is affected by classroom climate: the combined intellectual, social, emotional, and physical environments in which students learn. If students perceive the environment as supportive and feel included and heard, their motivation will likely be enhanced. On the other hand, if students perceive the environment as unsupportive or feel marginalized by the classroom climate or the course...
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