Developing Students Motivation Strategies with Education Research
Learning is often difficult for students, especially when they cannot realize any positive results. teachers usually motivate their students either verbally through praises, or they offer incentives to encourage good habits like reading. There is conflicting research as to how some of these strategies impact the student’s general performance both inside and outside the classroom. Here’s what we learned:
Guaranteed and Undefined Rewards
There are two types of reward systems that elicit varying responses from students. The guaranteed prizes mean that students know that they will be recognized for attaining a pre-determined goal. On the other hand, there is a reduced surety that they’ll be rewarded in the case of uncertain rewards.
You would expect students to perform much better when they know they’ll get a gift. However, the research reveals that students perform better under an uncertain rewards system. They usually experience different emotions, which are likely caused by the uncertainty of the reward.
The uncertain strategy shows that students are more likely to post positive results when they are sure to get rewarded but don’t know when or the criteria followed. These feelings are an unlikely motivator to get things done.
How to Promote Determination with Rewards
Getting high scores on a test is one thing; sustaining excellent results throughout the school year is another item altogether. Fortunately, rewards can give students the juice they need to realize persistent results.
In one study, students played a game of dice with a computer and answered a question afterward. For every correct answer they posted, they had another opportunity to roll the dice. Also, they could pass the question over to the computer if they weren’t confident with the questions or rolling the dice. In both situations, though, a pair of ones meant dropped points.
This test investigated the impact of rewards on the confidence and determination of a student. Usually, a student is inclined to accept wrong answers and learn from their mistakes as opposed to allowing the computer to help them.
Dopamine and Motivation
Normally, our brain releases more dopamine as we anticipate much higher rewards. This pushes us towards attaining a certain goal. Also, since dopamine is tied to the motivation and attention centers in our brain, we are likely to follow through on a task up to completion.
In a nutshell, an incentivized student will post better results on average than one who doesn’t receive any motivation. Therefore, the onus is on educators to create effective motivating structures. While consistent rewards are commonplace, research has shown that students exposed to random rewards usually post better performance figures. Ultimately, it is the teacher’s job to leverage modern findings within the classroom in search of excellence.