Motivating the Unmotivated Learners

Students are motivated through a combination of extrinsic factors (rewards and punishments) and intrinsic factors (the desire to complete a task for its own sake).


To help shift student's dependence on external reinforcement to an internal motivation to learn:

  • First, provide incentives for improved performance or mastery.
  • Second, combine all reinforcers with social praise, and gradually fade the distribution of the incentives.
  • Third, encourage students to reinforce theri own prograess with statements such as, "I did a great job!"

Highly engaged learners believe that outcomes are related to their own actions.


(Excerpts from Motivating Reluctant Learners from Educational Research Service at

Write a comment

Comments: 0