Motivation in Education: Satisfaction

Instructor and Teacher Relationship
via University of Nottingham flickr

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 how a teacher can help a student become more motivated by boosting his or her confidence.

Today we will look at the final component of Keller’s ARCS Model for Motivation and how students’ motivation is increased and maintained through satisfaction.

Satisfaction occurs when teachers “affirm and encourage their students, both verbally and nonverbally, and when they provide their students with clear constructive feedback” (Chesebro & McCroskey, 2002, pp. 83-84, 90-91). In her article, Casey-Rowe (2013) asserts that “giving feedback is a valuable skill” and that the goal of good, satisfying feedback is to “leave the recipient feeling energized and confident, like he or she can take on the world.”

Student/Teacher Relationships and Feedback

Casey-Rowe also notes that “It’s important to have a few people in the wings who will be honest.” She describes how when someone gives her valuable feedback “from a place of kindness, cheerleading from the sidelines, it’s worth more than gold” and “a collaboration of sorts” (2013).

I first learned how to sort through and receive feedback during my freshman and sophomore years of undergrad. On a couple occasions, I cried when I got back to my dorm room. What I didn’t realize was although the feedback felt harsh, it came from a place of kindness and collaboration. If I had realized that the feedback was meant to make me a better, more confident student, I would have been more open and willing to receive that feedback.

Once I realized the distinction, I became more open to receiving my professors’ feedback. By the end of my senior year, I saw how much I’d grown and how far I’d come from the student who took criticism and feedback personally, and thanked the professors who gave me that feedback.

Because I learned the importance of satisfaction through my professors’ feedback, I became more motivated to improve, grow, and excel in and outside of the classroom. By the time I was in graduate school at Liberty University, I was able to take my professors’ feedback and incorporate it into my studies. On one occasion, one of my professors was amazed when I thanked him for his feedback on a film script.

If teachers help their students realize that their feedback is coming from a place of kindness and collaboration to help them grow into better students, their students will see that they can trust their instructors and be more open to receiving their feedback. In turn, students’ satisfaction will motivate them to improve and excel both in and outside of the classroom.

What experiences do you have with satisfaction in the classroom? How do you plan to further explore Keller’s ARCS Model? Let us know in the comments below.


Casey-Rowe, D. (2013). Ego & the critical role of feedback in the learning process. Retrieved from TeachThought: We Grow Teachers website:

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

Author: Ann Broda, Instructional Designer

Ann is pursuing her PhD in Communication through Regent University and also teaches speech online at Olivet Nazarene University. In her free time she enjoys spending time with family and friends, participating in theatre, drinking coffee, biking, traveling, and reading.

2 thoughts on “Motivation in Education: Satisfaction”

  1. I love the feedback connection to student satisfaction! As a speech instructor, I find that teaching students how to give and receive feedback is the foundation for their own success and growth as a public speaker. Notable improvement can happen over just 12 weeks! Personally, feedback is like food and water to my own growth and professional satisfaction. Thanks for telling your story!

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: