Return to teaching resources
Keeping students on task and even excited
about a course of study is a neverending challenge for
teachers. Most students bore easily and in the midst of
such high tech distractions like cell phones, ipods, texting,
etc., they shut down and redirect their attention in an
instant. How does a teacher keep students interested in
courses that they feel has nothing to do with their chosen
field? Without resorting to entertainment techniques, what
can a teacher do to make students want to do their assignments,
come to class, participate in discussion, get a good grade?
To encourage students to become self-motivated, independent learners--
* Give frequent, early, positive feedback that supports students' beliefs that they can do well
* Ensure opportunities for students' success by assigning tasks that are neither too easy nor too difficult
* Help students find personal meaning and value in the material.
Motivated students can transform any course,
other students, even teachers. What triggers
motivation? Experts agree that most college teachers don't
utilize the best pedagogical practices to engage their
students. Basic methods would include--
1. Varying teaching techniques throughout the semester (lectures, groups, games...).
2. Integrate experiential activities that have a reward upon completion.
3.Use available campus tools--multimedia, computers, podcasts--which can help liven and enrich a course.
4. Make students more responsible for their learning by letting them take the wheel regularly.
From our library--
Berk, R. (1998). Professors are from mars, students are from snickers: How to write and deliver humor in the the classroom and in professional presentations. Madison, WI: Mendota Press.
Berk, R. (2002). Humor as an instructional defibrillator. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing.
Coles, R. (2004). Teaching stories: An anthology on the power of learning and literature. New York: Random House.
Kuh, G.D., Kinzie, J., & Schuh, J.H. (2005). Student success in college. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Svinicki, M.D. (2004). Learning and motivation in the post-secondary classroom. Bolton, MA: Anker Publishing.
Taylor, E.W. (2006). Teaching for change: Fostering transformative learning in the classroom. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Timpson, W., Burgoyne, S., Jones, C., &
Jones, W. (1997).
Teaching and performing: Ideas for energizing your
classes. Madison, WI: Magna Publications.
Diversity & Motivation: Culturally Responsive Teaching . Wlodkowski & Ginsberg. San Francisco: Jossey Bass, 1997. Shows how to motivate students who are different from each other in age, physical ability, mental preparation, culture, race, etc.
We offer a variety of teaching skills
handbooks and also main a vertical file of literature collected
over the years.
Online Publications: Viewpoints,
Motivating Students--a number of good articles and materials from the Faculty Development Program at Michigan State U.
8 Simple rulses for Motivating Students , By Lana Becker and Kent N. Schneider, East Tennessee State Universitybecker@etsu.edu or email@example.com Reprinted from The Teaching Professor by permission from Magna Publications, Inc., Madison, Wis. www.magnapubs.com . August/September 2004
"Teaching Nonmajors"--article in July 2008 Inside Higher Ed newsletter.
Inkshedding--a technique for overcoming the mid-semester doldrums
Oppenheimer, R. J. (2001). Increasing student motivation and facilitating learning. College Teaching, 49(3), 96-98.
Ryan, T. E. (2006). Motivating novice students to read their textbooks. Journal of Instructional Psychology, 33(2), 135-140.
Shaw, V. N. (2002). Peer review as a motivating device in the training of writing skills for college students. Journal of College Reading and Learning, 33(1): 68-76
Davis, B. G., Wood, L., & Wilson, R. C. (1983). Motivating students' best work. In A Berkeley Compendium: Suggestions for Teaching with Excellence.
Nash, R., Wild, M., & Arlington, P. (2001). Motivating your students. In Effective Instructional Design: An Online Course Template (n.p.)
National Center for Case Study Teaching in
Maintained at the University at Buffalo (SUNY), this web site contains a collection of case studies developed by faculty members across the sciences along with teaching notes.
Dealing with Disengaged Students, by Kellye Whitney, Certification Magazine, Mediatec Publishing, Inc., July 2007.A list of the top three teacher nightmares related to disengaged students probably runs something like this: class clown, the know-it-all, and Mr. or Miss "I Couldn't Care Less."
Motivating Today's College Students, Ian Crone and Kathy Mackay, Elmhurst College, Peer Review Journal, Spring 2007.