Motivation in Education: Confidence

Professor and Student at Computer
This royalty free image comes from Rowan University Publication on Flickr: https://flic.kr/p/j3d4fF

Throughout this series, we’ve explored the four components of Keller’s ARCS Model for Motivation: attention, relevance, confidence, and satisfaction.

In my last post, I discussed practical ways to motivate your students by making your course content relevant to them in and outside of the classroom.

Today we will look at ways you can motivate your students by boosting their confidence.

In her article, Miller (2015) asserts that “students with self-confidence pay more attention in class, get along better with their peers and generally have a more focused and inquisitive attitude.” She offers creative strategies to improve students’ confidence in face-to-face, online, and blended learning environments:

  • Provide positive feedback when appropriate.
  • Give only genuine praise.
  • Set realistic goals.
  • Provide opportunities for equal participation.
  • Create an open, positive environment for learning.
  • Show enthusiasm for the subject you’re teaching and for your students’ success.

Some other strategies to increase and maintain students’ motivation in the area of confidence include: “making expectations and assignments clear, and making sure students know they can ask questions” (Chesebro & McCroskey, 2002, p. 90).

In both undergrad and graduate school, the enthusiasm and passion of my two favorite communication professors sparked the same enthusiasm and passion in me—not only for the subjects they taught but also to learn and do well in their classes.

My undergraduate professor’s enthusiasm and passion for the fight against human trafficking opened my eyes to this horrible injustice. Our class discussions challenged and inspired me to do all I can to spread awareness and join the fight myself.

My graduate professor’s enthusiasm for the infamous film, The Sound of Music (1965) allowed me to see and appreciate the film and story in a whole new way. Now, I catch myself using the same methods he taught us to notice the cinematic detail in other films, allowing me to appreciate the power of this form of storytelling even more.

In both cases, my new-found passion and enthusiasm increased my confidence in what I learned—directly increasing and maintaining my motivation to learn

In the final post in this series, we will discover the final component in Keller’s ARCS Model for Motivation: Satisfaction.

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References:

Chesebro, J. L., & McCroskey, J. C. (Eds.). (2002). Communication for teachers. Pearson.

Miller, A. (2015, October 23). How to build a student’s self confidence. Retrieved from Live Strong website: http://www.livestrong.com/article/188430-how-to-build-a-students-self-confidence/

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