April 5, 2023 | Ian Hatcher
Student Motivations Revealed
It’s an age-old question: How can we motivate students to be more engaged and enthusiastic while in school? EducationWeek posed this question to students via a nationally representative survey conducted by the EdWeek Research Center between December 2022 and February 20231. Let’s take a look at the responses!
Students were asked, “What, if anything, could your teachers do to help you feel more motivated to do your best at school?” Here are five of the top six choices the students selected (out of an available twenty):
- Give me a chance to redo assignments if I get a low grade
- Let me do assignments on topics that interest me if they are relevant to what we are learning
- Incorporate more humor, fun, games into class
- Provide more feedback so I know what to improve before we get our grades
- Show me how I can use what I learn in my future career
In this article, we will explore how Find Your Grind aligns with the self-reported approaches that will motivate students while in the classroom.
Allowing students to retake assignments
Give me a chance to redo assignments if I get a low grade
From the onset, our learning design team considered how students should be able to engage with the summative assessments available in every unit, and made the conscious decision to allow for retakes. Our rationale is straightforward, and built around the following principles:
- Instill lifelong learning: Allowing students to retake assessments creates an environment where learning is emphasized over grades. When students know they have the opportunity to retake an assessment, they are more likely to focus on understanding the material and improving their knowledge, rather than just aiming for a high grade.
- Inclusive: Some students may struggle with test anxiety or have personal circumstances that affect their performance on an assessment. Allowing students to retake assessments provides them with a second chance to demonstrate their understanding and improve their grades.
- Student-centered: Some students may have had an off day or may have missed key information on the first attempt. By allowing students to retake the assessment, they have a fair chance to demonstrate their knowledge and abilities.
Knowing that they have the opportunity to retake an assessment can motivate students to work harder and take their studies more seriously. This can help to increase their engagement and ultimately improve their academic performance.
Student choice of badges to explore
Let me do assignments on topics that interest me if they are relevant to what we are learning
There is no single “correct” path in the Find Your Grind learning experience. Every learner is unique, and our recommendation system personalizes the journey for each student. The principles we kept at the forefront when designing these experiences were intended to:
- Increase relevance: When students are able to choose badges that interest them, they are more likely to see the relevance of the material to their own lives and interests. This can increase their motivation to engage with the subject material and put in more effort.
- Personalize learning: When students feel that their interests and perspectives are valued, they are more likely to be engaged and take ownership of their learning.
- Enhance intrinsic motivation: Intrinsic motivation comes from within the individual, rather than external rewards or pressure. This can lead to a deeper and more meaningful engagement with the content.
- Promote exploration: When students are working on something that they are passionate about, they are more likely to think creatively and come up with new ideas.
Incorporate more humor, fun, games into class
Gen Z craves bite-sized, engaging content within an experience that feels familiar to them. Therefore, we made sure to adhere to the following rules when gamifying the student experience:
- Make learning enjoyable: When students find the learning experience enjoyable, they are more likely to be motivated to engage with the material. Incorporating humor and fun (via Gen Z-appropriate memes and animated graphics) meets students at their level and makes the experience more engaging and enjoyable, ultimately increasing student motivation.
- Intuitive and engaging: When students feel more relaxed and comfortable, they are more likely to be motivated to engage with the material and participate in class.
- Provide a sense of achievement: Reaching a new level or completing a badge set provides a sense of accomplishment to students. This can increase student motivation and confidence, as well as help to build a positive attitude towards learning.
Feedback to Students
Provide more feedback so I know what to improve before we get our grades
Teacher feedback to students is critical and throughout our in-depth unit plans we communicate ways for teachers to share meaningful feedback at the right time with their students. But we aren’t stopping there. After gathering feedback from teachers, we are going to empower them to give feedback directly to their students within the Find Your Grind experience. More to come on this next month when we make this feature available!
Show me how I can use what I learn in my future career
This is baked into our DNA at Find Your Grind. After identifying ideal lifestyles for students, exposing them to what is possible, and revealing skills to them, students are then ready to start exploring careers. This is all part of future proofing students and making them truly future ready!
With a truly student-centered approach, the learner is placed at the center of the learning process. This approach emphasizes student agency, autonomy, and responsibility for their own learning, as well as individualized and personalized instruction that is tailored to each student’s unique needs, interests, and abilities. Contact us today to find out how the very nature of the Find Your Grind learning experiences motivates students to do their best, each and every day!