Student Motivation: 5 Ways to Keep Learners Hungry for More

Student motivation affects their performance, and it’s probably the biggest indicator of whether or not a student is successful.

An unmotivated student won’t learn anything. It’s hard to sit down and study. It takes time, commitment, and dedication – and it’s doubly hard if you’re teaching remotely.

That’s why it’s your job, first and foremost, to awaken your students’ appetite for knowledge. Let’s find out how.

  1. Engage the Senses

Let’s face it, the days of long hours listening to a teacher deliver lectures are gone. We’re in the 21st century. Consider using as many formats as you can to engage the senses:

YouTube is a great place to look for engaging media. If you know where to look, you can find all sorts of entertaining – and insightful – videos that will elevate your teaching ability. Crash Course is one of our personal favorites.

And remember that any and all student resources should be available after classes have ended. PDFs, presentations, and other downloadable files are great to allow your students to catch up in their spare time.

  1. Make Learning Satisfying

It’s not easy to encourage students to study. Some take to learning like a duck to water – but for others, it can feel like talking to a brick wall.

One of the main reasons is student satisfaction. You’ve no doubt heard a student moan and ask when they’re ever going to need to know what you’re teaching them.

That’s a matter of satisfaction. They’re bored, and that means they’re unwilling to engage.

Gamification (above) is one way of making learning satisfying. But another is application. Consider the following points:

  • How can I make this subject relevant to my students?
  • How can I make a subject applicable in real-world situations?

Showing your students the ways in which learning can be applied improves their engagement immensely.

  1. Understand How Your Students Learn

Some students learn well on their own, others need a firm guiding hand and positive feedback to encourage learning. As an educator, it’s important to take a tailored approach to teaching.

And it’s far from easy to accommodate different learning types.

Above all, ensure your lessons encompass a variety of teaching styles (visual, auditory, hands-on) – and mix and match as best you can. 

For instance, if your purview is emergent readers, consider having a child read to a puppet or a plant if they’re struggling with reading aloud. This can relieve the pressure to perform.

  1. Focus on Outcomes

It’s not all about grades. Some students just don’t do well in tests and exams. Student success, ultimately, is about what they learn and how they can apply it.

That’s why it’s important to focus on their development. And this means communication – even if students fare poorly in their finals, be sure to tell them what they’re doing right.

  1. Give Fair Feedback

Feedback is vital if you’re trying to motivate a child to learn. Particularly if, given the above point, your student is bad at tests.

And “fair” feedback doesn’t only mean positive. Stressing what they’re doing right is necessary, but you can’t sugarcoat everything. A student needs to understand boundaries and where they’re going wrong if they’re going to improve.

Boost Your Student Motivation

Student motivation can be hard to come by on the best of days, but it’s never out of reach. It’s the foundation of everything you do as an educator.

And as you guide your students through their learning journeys, they will guide you to be the best educator you can be if you only listen.

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