Saturday, December 29, 2012

Can College Professors Manufacture Student Motivation?

Do your professors motivate you to turn things around?

For 2013, the typical college student New Year's Resolution is to get motivated and study harder in the new semester.  But do colleges and more specifically, professors, acknowledge that they too have a role in providing the seeds of student motivation?  I found an interesting article in The Chronicle of Higher Education on this very topic of motivation, which drew some interesting conclusions:

Motivation is determined by the characteristics of the college environment and the instructor.

In one study:  The largest drop in the ... students' motivation occurred during the first year, though it ticked up slightly during the following three years of their college experience. 

In another study:  Students' levels of motivation varied widely, as reflected by their scores on the test, and their motivation was highly influenced by their perception of the intrinsic value of the material.

The author of "How Colleges Work" suggests:  Department heads and administrators also pay attention to which professors seem to be the best at motivating students, and to assign them to core and introductory courses, where they are more likely to reach a large number of students. Such seemingly minor decisions can have profound consequences on many students' success.

Click here to read: 

Can Colleges Manufacture Motivation?
The Chronicle of Higher Education

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