Motivation for Adult Learners

There are several types of learners that requure varying degrees of motivation to learn and perform the tasks presented in my lab teaching environment. By taking a look at intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and the theories that accompany these ideologies, educators can find practices that support motivation in the classroom. Refer to article:

The most beneficial motivation is when students are internally motivated by supporting autonomy, relevance and competence. Some tasks that promote intrinsic motivation involve providing choice for activities and assignments, encouraging exploration and collaboration and building upon experiences. Frequent and informative feedback can promote instrinsic motivation in future learning.

Some course information and hands on practice needs more control, and in these environments, a more extrinsic motivation is needed. Thought and care should be taken into consideration for extrinsic motivation to encourage a positive learning environment instead of fear or anxiety, such as seen with motivation from using one or two challenging exams as a strategy. If extrinsic factors are used to motivate learners, such as grades, it is important to implement more frequent assignments, tasks and feedback with gradual difficulty. This will help the students manage the material in a more comprehensive manner and succeed further in their learning. These types of techniques can also promote a more intrinsic motivation over time as the student begins to understand the expectations of the instructor and the importance of a deeper understanding of the information they are learning.

In the lab environment, extrinsic motivation is used in the form of online pre-quizzes, assessments with feedback, imaging assignments that all have a minimum required score. By encouraging a learning environment that is collaborative, supportive and promotes curiosity and self improvement, intrinsic motivation can potentially be achieved.


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