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Motivation published on No Comments on Motivation

Characteristics of Motivation Impacting on Learning and Teaching

Some students will be naturally enthusiastic about learning, but others may need, or expect, their tutors to inspire, challenge, and stimulate them. Whatever level of motivation the student brings to the learning environment, will be increased or decreased depending on what happens within the environment. There are many factors that can affect student’s motivation to work and learn, including: interest in the subject matter, perception of its usefulness, general desire to achieve, self-confidence and self-esteem, as well as patience and persistence. Some students may also be affected by prescribed medication that they may need to take to treat a medical condition. Some medication can affect concentration or make students feel excessively tired. In addition, not all students are motivated by the same values, needs, desires or wants. Some will be motivated by the approval of others and some by the desire to overcome their learning challenges.

Research has also shown that good everyday teaching practices can do more to counter student apathy than special efforts to attack motivation directly (Ericksen, 1978). Most students respond positively to a well-organised course taught by an enthusiastic instructor who has a genuine interest in students and what they learn. Thus activities you undertake to promote learning will also enhance students’ motivation.

Teaching Strategies

The following suggestions are strategies for inclusive teaching. This list should not be considered exhaustive; it is important to remember that all students are individuals, and what constitutes good practice for one student may not necessarily be appropriate for another. If you are uncertain about what adjustments to make, contact the Disability Officer in your institution for further advice. If you have any examples of good practice that you would like to add to this list, please email your suggestions to

  • Give frequent, early positive feedback that supports student belief that they can do well.
  • Ensure opportunities for student success by assigning tasks that are neither too easy nor too difficult.
  • Help students to find personal meaning and value in learning materials.
  • Create an atmosphere that is open and positive.
  • Help students to feel that they are valued members of a learning community.
  • Encourage students to find their own strategies and become independent in their learning.

Subjects potentially associated with Motivation

General learning activities potentially affected by Motivation


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