Archive for the ‘ Poll ’ Category

Classroom Management – What is it?

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Strategies: Analyzing why Students are Unmotivated

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For myself, I feel that I need to work on motivating students. Before taking the course on Student Engagement, I felt that I could only take students so far. However, my attitude now is that there is always something I could do for my students to ignite their internal drive to learn.

My challenge has been that my learners will come to class, but they will not complete homework exercises outside of class time. From that statement, you can probably guess that I do not teach in a typical educational institute. I work in a software company where the clients learn the tool from my department. They typically do not complete the assignments as they have other pressing projects and demands in their job role.

The change in my attitude for motivating students has already set me on a path of looking for a solution.

Although we do practice using the tool in class, and I can get students to complete learning tasks, there is the missing element of relevance. Without the “Meaning” that Nick Place discusses in his PowerPoint (mentioned in the last post), the information is less sticky in the minds of the learner. Although I do ask the learners how it is they plan to use the tool in their own setting, and ask them to provide examples, there is a gap between their intent and what will actually occur. The urges they get to learn the material won’t come until they have to actually implement their own projects. This may be a week or months down the road.

One may suggest that we delay the training until the learner is going to apply what they’ve learned, but this is difficult as learners sometimes cannot predict when they will be applying their knowledge (i.e. they are not sure when it is they will be starting the projects related to the software). Thus, the training program can remain as is to provide them with context of possibility, but perhaps a practicum element will need to be added to the course where learners work on their own projects under the guidance of one of the trainers. This should give learners a sense of meaning. In addition, from Dan Pink’s perspective, it gives them autonomy (control in their application of knowledge), mastery (their desire to be an expert at the tool is more real when they realize they need it to complete their projects), and purpose (their sense of feeling that they are contributing to their company’s ability to make good decisions because of their effective use of the tool).

This is just one solution that satisfies the factors for intrinsic motivation.

By knowing what factors motivate adult learners discussed in a previous post, it becomes apparent which factors are missing when you have students in unmotivated states.

Read more about motivational strategies by clicking the Motivation category in the sidebar.