Motivation is key to students’ engagement in our courses, their persistence in the face of difficulties, and their overall success. Instructors can play an important and powerful role in helping motivate students in their classes by drawing on ideas in the rich research base in the field.
During the shift to remote instruction in 2020 occasioned by COVID-19, the FDC hosted a series of programs to help faculty motivate students during online instruction. Below we share the resources from those sessions. Please note that a UMBC login is required to access these resources.
Research-Based Ideas for Motivating Students Online
- Cultivate social relatedness and students’ sense of belonging by communicating with students frequently and using active learning approaches
- Support students’ ability to achieve mastery, e.g., be transparent in your goals and expectations for students, sequence assignments to allow early opportunities for success, and explicitly foster students’ self-efficacy and growth mindset
- Provide opportunities for student autonomy and choice and encourage students to set goals for their learning
Motivating Students from Minds Online
Did you find that your students struggled to stay motivated during remote instruction? In our faculty discussion, we shared key thoughts on factors that affect student motivation, whether online or face-to-face. These factors include students’ experiencing a sense of connection, competence, and control. Faculty shared insights gleaned from their own experience to connect theory to practice. Faculty read the following book chapter to prepare for the discussion:
- “Motivating Students” from Minds Online: Teaching Effectively with Technology by Michelle Miller (Available as an ebook through the AOK library).
- WebEx recording of the first session
- WebEx recording of the second session
- Linda’s PowerPoint Presentation
Motivating Students from Online Teaching at Its Best
Motivating students during remote instruction can be an ongoing challenge. In an FDC book discussion last spring, we discussed the importance of motivation for student success and shared some strategies to keep students engaged in their learning. We then revisited this important issue by discussing a new chapter which applies ideas from research on motivation to common online teaching challenges and suggests practical solutions to help instructors keep students striving. Faculty read the following book chapter to prepare for the discussion:
- Chapter 5, “Motivating Elements: Course Policies, Communications, Assessments, and More,” in Online Teaching at Its Best by Linda Nilson and Ludwika Goodson, 2017 (Available as an ebook through the AOK library).
The discussion was structured around the following guiding questions:
- How do you re-capture students’ attention at midterm?
- How do you foster students’ self-efficacy now when they may be falling behind or failing?
- How do you create a stronger sense of community in the class at midterm?
- WebEx recording of the session
- Box folder with the following resources:
- Linda’s PowerPoint presentation
- Consolidated chat transcript
- Credit recovery application from Samantha Marks
- Forms for end-of-semester and mid-term peer evaluations from Sarah Leupen.
- If you find that students are not attending class or participating in online requirements, you may refer the student to the Academic Advocates.
As you consider how to motivate students in your courses, please consider the following additional resources:
- Request a consultation through the FDC by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or any FDC staff member. All consultations are confidential and formative.
- Register for upcoming FDC programs on the FDC myUMBC page.
- Review additional resources on our Course Design Online webpage.