Research of Educational Change: What Motivates Students to Learn?

Introduction

Motivation is important in order to make students learn and achieve personal and educational goals (Mamlok-Naaman, 2011). However, educators and parents experience problems while motivating students to work at home and convince them to pay attention to preparing for assessments (Hancock, 2012; Kitsantas & Zimmerman, 2009).

The purpose of this research is to influence the student’s motivation to learn. The researcher is interested in implementing the effective motivational strategy and achieving changes in the student’s learning behavior. Therefore, the study is focused on discussing the strategy that can change the student’s attitude to preparing home tasks. The goal is to encourage students to spend more time on doing the homework and setting the goals for learning. It is also important to conclude regarding particular actions that can be taken to motivate students and make them pay more attention to completing home tasks. The study involves a 17-year-old male student as a participant.

Materials / Methods

It is necessary to collect both quantitative and qualitative data. The quantitative data are collected with the help of a questionnaire. It is used to determine changes in the student’s motivation and attitude to learning and organizing the home task preparation. A questionnaire is appropriate to provide the numerical data (Buczynski & Hansen, 2014).

The qualitative data are collected with the help of self-reports and an interview. Self-reports are important to monitor possible changes in the student’s motivation to learn. The interview is needed to discuss the student’s experiences and changes in academic goals and achievements (Buczynski & Hansen, 2014).

Study Results

Research Questions:

  1. What motivation strategies can I implement with a 17-year-old student to convince him to learn and improve the academic performance?
  2. What aspects and features of the strategy make it effective to influence the motivation to learn?

The results indicate that the motivational strategy that was developed for the study was effective to motivate the 17-year-old student to learn and improve his academic performance, increase the self-efficacy, and improve the goal orientation. Thus, the attitudes and learning behaviors were changed.

Positive Changes

Diagram

Conclusions

The study findings indicate that students are best motivated to learn and spend time on home tasks when they are praised verbally. The motivation to learn can increase when students use technologies and different gadgets that are attractive to the youth and when they work with role models and compare experiences, goals, successes, and failures. Therefore, to motivate a student to learn, it is relevant to use the proposed strategy and focus on applying role models, goal orientation activities, and time management activities. The praise component in this strategy is also important.

These findings are relevant for the field of education because they explain what approaches can be followed by parents in order to motivate students to complete home tasks and what strategies can be used by educators in order to make tasks more attractive and interesting, for instance, with the help of technologies and the discussion of role models. This research can also lead to planning another study, the purpose of which is to develop one more effective motivational strategy that is not based on using the praise and role models. In order to conduct a new study, it is necessary to redesign the research and involve more participants.

Relevant Literature

Buczynski, S., & Hansen, C. B. (2014). The change leader in education: Roles and strategies in the differentiated environment. New York, NY: Bridgepoint Education Inc.

Hancock, D. R. (2012). Influencing graduate students’ classroom achievement, homework habits and motivation to learn with verbal praise. Educational Research, 44(1), 83-95.

Kitsantas, A., & Zimmerman, B. J. (2009). College students’ homework and academic achievement: The mediating role of self-regulatory beliefs. Metacognition and Learning, 4(2), 97-110.

Mamlok-Naaman, R. (2011). How can we motivate high school students to study science? Science Education International, 22(1), 5-17.