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Page history last edited by damin@mail.usf.edu 10 years, 1 month ago



Mona Makhlouf & Ashley McKenzie



Image Detail 

Motivation is an internal feeling that directs people’s behavior towards a particular direction to complete a given task and energizes them to continue to succeed. Ormrod stated that "Motivation is the inner state that energizes, directs, and sustains behavior." Not all students are motivated in the same way. Some students feel independently motivated to know subject matters and seek out the challenge to learn more about the concepts in the subject areas they study. However, others feel more motivated when their teachers use external motivators such as certificates or recgonize their names in classrooms (Ormrod, 2000). These two forms of motivation are intrinsic and extrinsic. Some students feel extrinsically motivated when they get good grades, receive money, or are awarded. Others feel intrinsically or self motivated to develop a skill and acquire knowledge in a specific content area that suits their interests. Extrinsic motivation is not a bad thing to foster in classrooms, but rewarding students all the time for every task may erode their intrinsic motivation and make them begin working for the reward and not for their love of learning which could endanger their ability to succeed throughout their lifetime. 

intrinsic extrinsic motivation


Original page: http://www.electrical-res.com/intrinsic-extrinsic-motivation/


 Maslow's hierarchy of needs is a theory in psychology, proposed by Abraham Maslow in his 1943 paper A Theory of Human Motivation. Maslow's hierarchy of needs, portrayed in the following shape of a pyramid, organizes the largest and most fundamental levels of needs at the bottom, and the need for self-actualization at the top. Raffini stated that the intrinsically motivated students seek autonomy, self-esteem, a sense of belonging, and stimulation (1996).



 Image retrieved from  http://en.wikipedia.…erarchy_of_Needs.svg


Snowman & McCown (2012) suggest teachers can meet student’s safety and belonging needs, as defined by Maslow, by learning students’ names as quickly as possible, praising students when they do well and inquiring about possible problems when they don’t, relating lessons to student’s interests, and never ridiculing a student for lack of knowledge or skills or letting other students do the same.

 What does "Motivation" look like inside and outside classrooms?


Students will be more motivated to learn in the classroom if they are an active part of the lessons and classroom procedures. Each student could have a daily or weekly job to feel that s/he connected with other people in some way. For example, giving students chores (teacher helper, paper distributor, or door holder) motivates them to act efficiently and respond positively to their classmates. During lessons, instead of lecturing at students or having them fill out a basic worksheet, putting them in charge of part of the instruction will allow them to play the teachers’ role. Students feel motivated when they are engaged in meaningful activities as they realize how the things they learn in classrooms relate to their personal experiences, interests, abilities, and goals. By this way, they feel eager to pursue these topics further and develop their skills more to enable them to succeed. However, when students are given meaningless tasks, they feel frustrated and thus they avoid doing them as often as possible.




Why/What do teachers need to know about "Motivation"? Why is it significant to them?

Teachers must be aware of their students’ abilities and adapt their instructional strategies to match their students’ learning styles.  Reid (1999) claims that this effort leads to, "higher interest and motivation in the learning process, increased student responsibility for their own learning, and greater classroom community" (p.300).  This awareness and adaptation will intrinsically motivate students to learn. The theory of multiple intelligences helps teachers to investigate these different learning styles.  The theory of multiple intelligence was proposed by Howard Gardner in 1983 as a rationalist model of intelligence that differentiates intelligence into various capacities for solving problems. Therefore, teachers should study the students’ abilities and intelligences, analyzing them as audio, visual, lingual, musical, or kinesthetic. Afterwards, teachers can adapt their lesson plans, classrooms activities, and their instructional strategies accordingly to better accommodate students’ intelligences. Arnold and Fonseca (2004) suggest that, "MIT in the EFL ... enables teachers to organize a variety of contexts that offer learners a variety of ways to engage meaning and strengthen memory pathways; it ... can increase the attractiveness of language learning tasks and therefore create favorable motivational conditions" (p.120).  Teachers motivate their students by setting reasonable expectations to meet which require students to use their diverse abilities while also giving them opportunities to make choices to reach these expectations. On the other hand, it is necessary for teachers to be selective about when and how to use extrinsic reinforcers. When teachers reward their students excessively, it erodes their intrinsic motivation as they are doing their work for the sake of the reward and not for learning (Deci, 1999). Depending on the rote learning kills the meaningful learning and the students’ intrinsic motivation.Rote learning doesn’t help the students to understand a subject but instead it focuses on memorization through drill and kills technique.  


 This following video  includes strategies for teachers to handle students with different intelligences in classrooms activities to meet their needs and various abilities.  







image retrieved from: http://wzpo1.ask.com…le_intelligences.jpg        



Why do parents need to know about "Motivation"?


It is important for teachers to get parents involved in their children’s learning. It’s well observed that students whose parents are involved in school activities have better attendance records, higher achievement, and more positive attitudes toward school. Teachers must give suggestions to parents about learning activities they can easily do with their children at home. Teachers may also help parents to get a better idea about their children’s learning styles in order to use effective teaching strategies at home and address the students’ weaknesses. When parents are willing to work with their children at home, students will be automatically motivated to participate effectively in class activities. On the other hand, teachers should tell parents not to neglect or ignore their children because this will lead to low self-esteem, poor social skills, and low school achievement. Consequently, students may feel depressed, anxious, and socially withdrawn in school.


How does "Motivation" concern students?


Students’ emotions play a role in their learning and achievement as well. If students are engaged in topics related to their real life situations, they will feel motivated to learn more because they realize value and purpose behind studying the lesson. When students notice the relationship between the topics they learn and how they answer to some of their life mysteries, they will be eager to pursue those topics further.  Also, if they find that the assigned homework or activities often lead to more frustration than pleasure, they will avoid being engaged in the assigned tasks. Students feel more self-motivated when they are engaged in meaningful activities as they realize how the things they learn in classrooms relate to their personal experiences.  For language learners, motivation stemming from a disire to communicate with people from another cultural group, combined with communication competencies and self-confidence, plays a defining role in their willingness to communicate (MacIntyre, 2007); without this willingness they may never be able to fully use the target language.


Robert Harris (2010) stated some ways for motivating students at different ages:


  • Explain. When students do poorly  on assignments or participation, it is often because they do not understand what to do or why they should do it. Therefore, teachers should spend more time "explaining why we teach what we do, and why the topic is important and interesting". Teachers' enthusiasm will be transmitted to the students, who will be more likely to become interested. In addition, teachers should  spend more time explaining exactly what is expected on assignments or activities. "Students who are uncertain about what to do will seldom perform well". Students should understand the objective of learning new concepts in order to speak to the question they often ask, "When will we ever use this?” This helps the students learn to connect studying concepts in classrooms with using them in real life situations, fostering students’ intrinsic motivation to discover and learn more about the topics rather than only temporarily motivating (extrinsically motivating) them to get a good grade or to be promoted to the next grade level. 


  • Reward.Students who are not internsically motivated should be helped by extrinsic motivators in the form of rewards. Instead of criticizing unwanted and unacceptable behavior or answers, teachers should reward the correct behavior and answers. The rewards should be configured to the level of the students such as giving stickers or a set of crayons for young children. At the college level, professors  have given certificates, exemptions from final exams, and verbal praise for good performance. The important point is that extrinsic motivators can, over a brief period of time, produce intrinsic motivation. It is absolutely true that everyone likes the feeling of accomplishment and recognition; rewards for good work produce those good feelings.


  • Use positive emotions to enhance learning and motivation.  People remember better when the learning is accompanied by strong emotions. Teachers could make the learning experience successful by letting them have fun, grow excited, and feel happy and motivated. Emotions can be created in classrooms by doing something unexpected and unordinary to keep students ultimately motivated to complete their tasks successfully. 


  • Have students participate. "One of the major keys to motivation is the active involvement of students in their own learning". Standing. Getting students involved in activities and group problem solving exercises is highly recommended to let the students actively participate in the lesson rather than simply looking at pictures or listening to the teacher. A lesson about nature, for example, would be more effective through doing the work than by only looking at pictures.


  • Teach Inductively.  When teachers present conclusions first and provide examples, it helps students to feel the joy of discovery and make them more excited to learn. Therefore, teachers may introduce the new topic to their students by asking them questions about the topic they learn to help them to make sense of the newly introducted concepts. This will help students to draw conclusions themselves by giving stories and then arriving at conclusions later, which increases their interests and motivation as well.   




Arnold, J. & Fonseca, M. C. (2004). Multiple intelligence theory and foreign language learning: A brain-based perspective. International Journal of English Studies, 4(1),      119-136.


Deci, E., & Ryan, R. (2002). Handbook of self-determination research. Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press.


Garderner & Lambert. (1972). Attitudes and motivation in second language learning. Rowley, MA: Newbury House


Huitt, W. (2007). Maslow's hierarchy of needs; educational psychology interactive. Valdosta, GA: Valdosta State University.


Macintyre, P.D.  (2007).  Willingness to communicate in the second language: understanding the decision to speak as a volitional process.  The Modern Language Journal,      91(4),     564-576.  Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/4626086


Maslow, A. H. (1987). Motivation and Personality. New York: Harper & Row.


McCown, R., & Snowman, J. (2012). Psychology applied to teaching (13th ed.). China: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.


Ormrod, J.E. (2000). Learning and cognitive processes in educational psychology;  developing learners


Raffini, J.P. (1996). 150 ways to increase intrinsic motivation in the classroom. Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.


Reid, J. (1999). Affect in the classroom: Problems, politics, and pragmatics. In J. Amold (Ed.) Affect in language learning (pp.297-306). Cambridge: Cambridge University      Press.


Additional references:


Maslow, A.H. (1943). A theory of human motivation. Psychological Review, 50 (4), 370-396.  


Hilgard, Ernest., R. Irvine. (1953). Rote memorization, understanding, and transfer: an extension of Katona's card-trick experiments. Journal of Experimental Psychology,      46 (4), 288–292.


Schweinle, A., Turner, J.C., & Meyer, D.K. (2006). Students’ motivation and affect in elementary mathematics. Journal of Educational Research, (99), 271-293.



Comments (12)

Iman Daadoush said

at 8:30 pm on Nov 13, 2011

Great job! I love you clear, and organized work! Your diagrams, and video are very representative and make comprehension easier. Interesting subject!

Salma Daadoush said

at 11:24 pm on Nov 13, 2011

Outstanding job!!! Very interesting topic. Thanks for sharing.

crcarr2@... said

at 5:38 pm on Nov 21, 2011

I really enjoyed this article. I agree that it is really important for parents to get involve in their students' education. They need to understand that they can have a positive impact on their child's motivation. Also, it was mentioned that knowledge about a student's learning styles will help them to use strategies to address their child's weaknesses. However, I think that it is also (especially in regard to motivation) important to be informed regarding their child's learning styles in order to address their child's strengths. (Therein lies their child's interest and motivation.) I also think it was a great point that teachers need to show enthusiasm and excitement which will help students become excited about learning. It's contagious!

C. Danielle Goldsby said

at 5:00 pm on Nov 22, 2011

Part 1 of 2: Mona, I really enjoyed reading your Wiki about motivation. It will serve as a helpful resource to me as I continue to plan and develop my classroom management plans. I'm fascinated with your discussion on intrinsic motivators and loved the visuals and supplemental links you provided. That first visual was interesting and caught my attention. It is amazing that people know that those three "motivators" do not effectively work but they still use them! It makes me shudder to think that teachers use those three unfavorable "motivators." Your Wiki helped me to know not to use them! Thank you for the topics you covered in such great detail! I will definitely use this information in my classroom.

C. Danielle Goldsby said

at 5:01 pm on Nov 22, 2011

Part 2 of 2:

I'd like to add to your discussion on intrinsic motivation. Your discussion is amazing, and I feel that you covered everything you needed to! This is something I love so I just want to continue the great discussion you already so nicely started!

When I was researching Multiple Intelligences for this Wiki project, I came across an article which affirms the positive correlation that both you and Ms. Carr made between intrinsic motivation and accommodating different students' learning styles (or intelligences). It showed that students' self esteem grew when they felt like the content was something they could manage specifically through their learning styles. As a result, they were more inclined to learn the content and thus truly memorize the content (i.e. not through rote learning but sustained deep learning). Arnold and Fonseca (2004) state, "MIT in the EFL classroom ... enables teachers to organize a variety of contexts that offer learners a variety or ways to engage in meaning and strengthen memory pathways; it ... can increase the attractiveness of language learning tasks and therefore create favourable motivational conditions" (p.120). Additionally, Arnold and Fonseca (2004) excellently quote Reed (1999) when they say, "Reid ... mentions some of the benefits of increasing learners' awareness of their own learning styles: "higher interest and motivation in the learning process, increased student responsibility for their own learning, and greater classroom community. These are affective changes, and the changes have resulted in more effective learning""(p. 120). Like I said, your point is great! If teachers pay attention and accommodate their students' diverse learning styles, students will be intrinsically motivated to learn! I feel that this study on motivation definitely can bring in the theory of multiple intelligences and the strategies found in cooperative learning and constructivism to really help students want to learn!

Margarita Malpica said

at 11:16 pm on Nov 22, 2011

Mona and Ashley,
I found your page to be very informational and thorough. I love the diagrams, they really help visualize the concepts. I like that you included recommendations and mentioned different theories. Great job!
I added some suggestions for teachers based on Maslow's theory which I came across and thought would fit nicely in your page.

damin@mail.usf.edu said

at 10:47 pm on Nov 26, 2011

I added indentation to the 3 sources wrapping onto the second line as per the suggested format. I like to read about motivation as it relates to educational psychology. It is a very good instructional technique for teachers to use in engaging all students in the language material, which can seem difficult at times.

Joseph Santy said

at 7:40 am on Nov 27, 2011

Good job. I also researched a bit on this topic, so I just added a brief comment related to the willingness to communicate discussed in the MacIntyre article, which I also added to the works cited list at the end.

Geraldinne Bachman said

at 2:38 pm on Nov 27, 2011

Mona and Ashley,
Your wiki is very informative. Motivation is a very interesting topic. I consider we, teachers, can be very informed and capable individuals; however, if we cannot motivate our students to get engaged in the learning process, our jobs are or will be very challenging. Weinstein and Novodvorsky (2011) suggested that before we can motivate our students to learn, "they must feel safe from humiliation, understand that it's all right to take risks and make mistakes, and know that they are accepted, respected members of the class" (p. 216). Another important point included in their book that ties in with multiple intelligences, is that we have to modify assignments by including two or three different intellingeces in our lessons in order to give equal access to instruction. Doing so will motivate students to engage with academic content; thus, increasing their opportunity to succeed (which is the greatest motivator). Weinstein, C. S., & Novodvorsky, I. (2011). Middle and secondary classroom management: lessons from research and practice. New York, NY: Mcgraw-hill.

qiongwu said

at 12:07 am on Nov 28, 2011

Hi Mona & Ashley,

I choose to read your wiki because the keyword "motivation" had caught my eyes, as an in-service teacher, the biggest challenge I had ever met is that I don't know how to motivate my students, and luckily enough, I had learned a lot which I can take with me to try with my students from this wiki page. In addition, I would like to reflect on the following aspects:

(1) As stated in your definition section, "not all students are motivated in the same way", thus, in order to make our motivation effectively work for students, we need to first figure out the appropriate ones for each student. Also, I believe that every student needs both intrinsic and extrinsic motivations, and the differences lie in the extent/amount of both, as well as the specific type of each category.
(2)I strongly agree that "rewarding students all the time for every task may erode their intrinsic motivation and make them begin working for the reward and not for their love of learning which could endanger their ability to succeed throughout their lifetime", this is similar to the cases that students will try different ways of cheating in order to get a higher score on exams. In addition, rewarding should also be careful when it is going to the majority students or even all students, since it will automatically make the rewarding itself meaningless.
(3)It is so true that "higher interest and motivation in the learning process, increased student responsibility for their own learning, and greater classroom community", it had reminded me of an old Chinese saying that "Interest is the best teacher". I immediately related this to one of my personal experiences in middle school, when I was the class monitor for the subject of English, and I constantly did a lot of self-learning in order to perform better in class, as well as be able to answer any questions that my classmates may have during tutoring sessions, so that everyone in class feels that I deserve to be that role model.

qiongwu said

at 12:13 am on Nov 28, 2011

In addition, I love how you incorporated the graphs and video clips, as well as how you organized such a great deal of information. I feel like the section of ways for motivating students at different ages is extremely important and helpful.

Thank you for the great work! I really enjoyed exploring this wiki page, as it recalled me a lot of good memories.

marie16@mail.usf.edu said

at 12:20 am on Dec 1, 2012

Your wiki presents motivation in a very detailed and extensive way. It is absolutely interesting and very informative. As a teacher , I can share with you that motivation in a student is so important. Intrinsic motivation is the best type of motivation as is the inner desire of a student to want to succeed naturally. That motivation is created at home and through a positive classroom environment. In my classroom, I have a lot of students who perform excellently with their intrinsic motivation. They excel on everything they do and they take pride of their work. They always strive for excellence. These types of students, I like to pair them with less motivated students so they influence them positively. It has such a positive effect on students who are poorly motivated.I experience this everyday in my classroom. When students do an excellent work, I also like to give them some additional incentives to keep them highly motivated. These addtional incentives should not be given on a daily basis otherwise students get used to them and they no longer value them. Excellent WIKI! You have all the information any person could read about motivation. Great visuals too!


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