Teaching Strategies: Motivating Students

Instructors who understand student motivation can greatly enhance the classroom experience and student performance. The articles and links on this page discuss research findings on student motivation and techniques for motivating students.

Teaching FAQs: Motivating Students
Fifteen tips on motivating students from the Teaching Effectiveness Program at the University of Oregon.

IDEA Paper #40: Getting Students to Read: Fourteen Tips (IDEA Center. Hobson, 2004)
Strategies for motivating students to read course materials; includes Bean’s Student Reading Problem/Solution List as an appendix.

IDEA Paper #41: Student Goal Orientation, Motivation, and Learning (IDEA Center, Svinicki, 2005)
Teachers can affect student motivation in ways that either facilitate or impede learning. This paper describes why this is so, and offers specific suggestions for promoting positive student motivation.

Capturing and Directing the Motivation to Learn (1998)
Overview of literature on student motivation and tips for incorporating methods of motivation into courses and connecting with students’ desire to succeed.

Motivating Students' Best Work
Lists of methods to motivate college students by identifying the knowledge/skills students bring, providing students the skills/knowledge to succeed in class, and developing positive instructor-student relationships. From the Center for Teaching and Learning at UC-Berkeley.

Motivating Students to Read and Write in All Disciplines (pdf): This document provides advice and a list of strategies for motivating students to write. Strategies include invention journals, reading like a writer, and the précis.

Strategies for Increasing Student Motivation
Concrete suggestions for increasing student motivation through classroom interactions, course design, assignments, and tests. Examples emphasize strategies that show students the value of course content and help them understand how they can succeed in your class