The teacher inspires and motivates students to learn.

  • Faculty cannot control everything, but they can create a classroom environment that can encourage students' motivation. Both intrinsic and extrinsic factors affect whether students feel interested in a course and are inspired to work hard in a class. Check out this video from José Antonio Bowen on How Student Thinking Works.

  • Help students feel valued by being open-minded, enthusiastic, friendly, and knowing your students. Enthusiasm is especially relevant to student motivation – it's contagious!  

  • Inspire Interest in the Subject Matter

    Consider the following suggestions to help inspire students’ interest in the subject matter of your course: 

    • Help students find personal meaning in the material through real-world problem-solving, personal reflection, applied learning, and/or a career-based case study. 
    • Identify assignments that require curiosity, challenge, or mastery. 
    • Avoid “busy work,” and seek assignments that students will see as valuable.  
      • Add a simple purpose statement to your assignment descriptions in your course syllabus.  
      • Show students how assignments align with course learning outcomes 
    • Give students as much control over their own education as possible (e.g., topics, projects, class structure, etc.) 
    • Build a library of additional resources. Professor, Adam Grant, talks about “compiling a library for students to follow-up and do a deeper dive into different areas of [his] class” (2022). Include TED talks, articles, case studies, etc. to help students uncover additional meaning. 
    • Use a variety of evidence-based teaching strategies to keep things interesting. 
  • Ensure Opportunities for Student Success

    Consider the following suggestions to help ensure opportunities for student success: 

    • Give students opportunities for success early in the semester to give them confidence and avoid demoralizing feelings. Once students succeed, incrementally increase the difficulty level. 
    • Assign tasks that are realistic. 
    • Avoid grading on the curve, which gives all students the opportunity for high scores. 
    • Teach students effective learning strategies 
      • Consider sharing resources from Saundra McGuire, such as The Study Cycle 
    • Teach students about growth mindset and share your own struggles. 
    • Encourage and reward peer tutoring