The motivation is a key issue in the study of human behavior. Sometimes we may ask ourselves why we are often required to do so, including the action of the other people, such as the children come home from school early, medical students are learning to be doctors, or politician are canvassing the election etc.
Motivation is the control of human behavior that arising from needs, drives and desires trying to struggle to achieve the objective. This may occur naturally or come from learning. Motivation caused by both internal and external stimulation. The stimulus is also social acceptance, reward or encouragement etc. All these actions caused by whatever the motivation. We may know what the motive that makes people behaves like that. But sometimes we do not know their goal that they have hidden.
Cycle of Motivation
Creating motivation is the important way to success the goal. We know motivation is important because throughout our lives we have all seen the motivated person surpass the less-motivated person in performance and outcome even though both have similar capability and the same opportunity. We know this from our experience and observation.
Motivation in learning is important too. It's a partly to encourage the student to seek the knowledge and try to be successful. So, the teacher is the person who has important role to encourage his student.
How to maintain learners' attention
"Pay attention or you won't learn anything!" The words have an unsettling effect. When we want to maintain learners' attention, we are looking for ways to evoke their alertness and to help them engage in the learning activity. Our effort usually involves an arousal of their energy and refocusing toward the event at hand. By gaining their attention, we also open the way for or restore their interest.
The strategies using in this case are follow;
1. Provide frequent response opportunities to all learners on an equitable basis.
Whenever people are in a learning situation, the amount they will publicly interact with their teacher or peers will generally affect the attention they give to the learning activity (Kerman,1979). If learners know they are going to respond or perform in a given learning session, they have an incentive for paying attention. Their attention contributes to immediate social consequences. However, if taking notes, monitoring information, or listening to other learners has no imminent effect on their relationship to their teacher or peers.
When using this strategy for larger group discussions, there are four guidelines for maintaining caring and respectful atmosphere. First, we announce to the learning group that we would like to have as many people participating as possible. Second, we make sure everyone does get an equal chance to respond or perform. Third, random selection is best on a moment-to-moment basis. Fourth, we respect and affirm each learner's response.
By encouraging students to respond and by helping them learn from their answers, we reduce their fears of participating. Our guiding frame of mind is to let learners know what they can competently do and then, as fluidly as possible, help them take the next possible step. In some cases, this might mean probing further, giving a hint or a second chance, waiting a while longer, soliciting help from another learner, or facilitating another answer for greater insight. As long as we avoid assuming a right-or-wrong attitude toward learning, so much is possible.
The following are some techniques for enhancing learners' reactions to response opportunities:
- When asking a question or announcing an opportunity to perform a task, wait at least three seconds before selecting a respondent (Tobin, 1987). This technique allows everyone to consider the possible answer or skill to be demonstrated. It gives learners a chance to organize themselves mentally and emotionally for their response.
- When you are looking for a volunteer, ask for a show of hands in response to your question or activity and wait three to five seconds after the first indication of a volunteer before selecting a respondent. This technique has the same advantages as the previous one, and it increases the number of possible respondents from which to choose. If we tend to call on the first few volunteers, we often unwittingly "teach" the rest of the learners not to volunteer.
- While pausing before selecting a respondent, look over the entire group. This will tend to increase everyone's attentiveness because your survey encompasses the learners as a unified body.
- For longer responses and demonstrations, alert the rest of learning community that they will be asked to respond in some fashion to what they have observed; for example: "After Suchada has presented her case study, I'd like to ask a few of you to give her your evaluation of which consultant skills were critical to her success with her client" This method invests the entire learning community in the task at hand and affirms their responsibility to their peers.
- Sometimes use light, humorous, unpredictable methods for selecting a respondent; for example: "The next people to get a chance are all those with birthday in February," or "Well, let's see who had bread for breakfast. OK, we've got three volunteers." Or ask someone, "What's your favorite color" Blue; that's great. Now check in your group to see who is wearing the most blue, because that's who will begin the next problem for us."
- During any task where learners are working on their own or in small groups, move among them as an available resource and observer. Depending on the situation, you can comment, question, react, advise, or quietly observe. This will prevent learners from being isolated in their work, and let your provide more response opportunities for them.
2. Help learners realize their accountability for what they are learning.
The following methods may help to encourage learners' attentiveness.
- Where appropriate, show that your learning program is efficiently designed to build the requisite skills and knowledge for which the learners will be held accountable. Use syllabi, outlines, models, or diagrams to briefly preview the integrated plan and related learning goals. Indicate how you will assess learners (tests, projects, job performance, and so forth) and how the assessment is functionally dependent on the learning process and content. This will help learners understand that their concentration is necessary every step of the way.
- Selectively use manding stimuli. Mands are verbal statements that have a highly probable consequence associated with them (Skinner, 1957). When a person yells, "Watch out!" people usually stop what they are doing and quickly check their surroundings. Teachers have available to them many mands that can focus learners' attention:"Please not this"; "Now listen closely"; "It is critical to realize that..."; "It will help a great deal in understanding this if you remember that..."; "The point that brings this all together is.." Wise use of mands is a valuable instructional technique for directing learners' attention to material that will make a difference in their training or education.
- Selectively employ handouts, such as outlines, models, diagrams, advance organizers (Svinicki, 2004), key concepts, and definitions. They help learners follow and focus on your lecture, presentation, or demonstration. Learners are more likely to pay attention to what is important when what is important is concretely noted, well organized, and literally within their grasp. Please be careful with PowerPoint, one of the most pervasive technological tools used today. Although an attractive process for outlines, models and diagrams, it can reduce complicated, nuanced issues to headings and bullets (Keller, 2003)
- Intersperse lectures and demonstrations with the think-pair-share process (Barkley, Cross, and Major,2005). This is a short processing method to increase attention and involvement in a relevant manner. The teacher asks learners to think briefly about what has been stated or observed and then to pair up with someone to share their reflections for a few minutes. It's a wonderful way to engage students in the middle of any passive learning experience with a thoughtful procedure that invites their perspectives and dialogue. The directions can be focused or general, as the following example illustrates: "Please take a minute to think about how this material relates to your own life. Then turn to a partner and have a brief conversation about your reflections." After completion of this procedure, the instructor can begin a whole-group discussion, solicit comments, list insights, take questions, or move on to the next segment of the lecture or demonstration.
3. Provide variety in personal presentation style, modes of instruction, and learning materials.
The following s a checklist of characteristics that teachers can vary to gain their learners' attention. For each characteristic there are questions that you can use to assess your presentation style during instruction
- Body movement. How often do you move? In what direction? Are you ever among your learners? Are you predictable in your movements? Some movement during instruction is desirable. You can go across the room and along the sides of the room. Now and then "going in" among your learners is another variation. Such movement brings you temporarily closer to all learners and makes them more likely to pay attention to where you will be next.
- Gestures and facial expressions. Do you use gestures? If so, what kind? When? How animated is you face? How often do you smile? How does your body language change in relationship to learners' questions, responses, and behavior?
- Voice. What is the tone and pitch of our voice? How often and when do these change? How is your voice used for emphasis, emotion, and support of your topic? If someone could not see you but only hear you, would your voice alone provide sufficient stimulation and variety? Of all the aspects of personal presentation style, the voice is probably the most important yet one of the least studied (Andersen and Wang, 2006). Voice is a metacommunication, a communication about communication. It influences everything learners hear their teachers say.
- Pauses. When and how often do you pause? How long do you remain silent? For what purposes do you use pauses? Like variations in color, pauses are orienting stimuli that arouse our attention (Gage and Berliner, 1998). Pauses can greatly enhance verbal instruction. You can use them to break informational segments into smaller pieces for better understanding, capture attention by contrasting sound with silence, signal learners to listen, emphasize an important point, provide time for reflection, and create suspense or expectation.
The second kind of variety available to teachers is variety in modes of instruction and in learning materials. These are the ways in which teachers interact with learners and activities in which learners can participate while they are learning. Lecturing, discussing, showing a video, and playing a simulation game are four modes of instruction. Learning materials are the physical resources used to instruct, such as films, books, compact discs, and computer software.
4. Introduce, connect, and end learning activities attractively and clearly.
Just as a kickoff tells the crowd, "Pay attention, the action is about to begin," and attractive introduction gives learners the same message. Some stimulating methods of introduction in addition to the use of media and shifts in personal presentation style are follows:
- Asking provocative questions: "How many of you have ever...?" "When was the last time...?" "Did you imagine before you took this training that you were going to...?" " What do you think would happened if...?"
- Calling on learners to become active: ask them to help, to move, to observe, to assess, and so on.
- Creating anticipation: "I have been looking forward to doing this activity with you since your training session began" " This film will show the concrete advantages of applying the skills you have been learning." "This next set of problems is really tricky; let's see how we do."
- Relating the learning activity to pop culture and current events: "You might say the next person we are going to discuss is the Tiger Woods of the computer world." "This case study could provide lyrics for a country western ballad." "What we are going to take a look at next has been organized like an Olympic sporting event"
- Using organizational aids: handouts, outlines, models, and graphs can interrelate concepts, topics, key points, and essential information.
- Indicating what the new activity relates to: this technique involves explaining how the new activity continues the building of a skill or how it further demonstrates a concept or how it may contribute to a future learning goal.
- Making directions and instructions for the next learning activity as clear as possible: this technique applies to introducing as well as connecting learning activities. People often stop paying attention because they are confused about what they are supposed to do. By giving accurate directions, we can avoid unnecessary distractions.
- Checking for understanding: any time we provide important information, whether it is a concept or a procedure, and especially if what comes next is dependent on this information, we should take a few moments to see if everyone understands. Checking for understanding can be as simple as a question (Are these directions clear enough?") or as thorough as a formal assessment.
Motivation to learn is eminent to student success. The sources of motivation are involved. Individuals have different ways to processing information which enables them to keep the process of learning high. It is important for educators to keep the individuals interested and make it their key to successful teaching.
Raymond J.Wlodkowski (2008). Enhancing Adult Motivation to Learn (3rd.ed).Jossey-Bass a Wiley Imprint. USA
Behavior and Motivation. Website: www.ba.cmu.ac.th
Yaben Ruangcharoonsi. Motivation. Website: http://www.kroobannok.com/blog/20495
Employee Motivation. Website: http://e-book.ram.edu/e-book/g/GM203/gm203_16.pdf
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