Motivation seems to be very important for an online course, and a MOOC.
When Adam and Eve were curious about the effects of the special fruits of the tree of Knowledge they were chased out of Paradise.
RSA Animate – Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us. On common knowledge and scientific research on motivation.
An example of common sense rules on motivation, Is this the state of knowledge on motivation? Is this what teachers know about motivation?
Brain and motivation a video. The comments are interesting.
Literature on motivation
Appleton, J., Christenson, S. & Furlong, M. (2008). Student engagement with school: critical conceptual and methodological issues of the construct. Psychology in the schools, vol. 45 (5)
Connell, J. & Wellborn, J. (1990). Competence, autonomy and relatedness: A motivational analyses of self-esteem processes. In: Gunnar, M. & L. Shroufe (Eds.), The Minnesota symposium on child psychology (22, 43-77). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum
With reference to development, children construct beliefs about their competence and autonomy by interacting within their social context. Those who come to believe they can attain desired goals (control beliefs) and that they have personal access to the adequate means (agency beliefs), will be more likely to face challenging situations and engage in adequate strategies to achieve valued outcomes. By contrast, children who come to believe they cannot obtain desired outcomes or prevent negative consequences will tend to react in a maladaptive manner, particularly in stressful circumstances. ( http://business.highbeam.com/4790/article-1G1-131363632/attachment-and-motivational-strategies-adolescence )
Deci, E., & Ryan, R. (1985). Intrinsic motivation and self-determination in human behavior. New York: Plenum.
Deci, E., & Ryan, R. (2000). The ‘what’ and the ‘why’ of goal pursuits: Human needs and the self-determination of behavior. In: Psychological Inquiry, 2000, nr. 11, p. 227-268. http://www.selfdeterminationtheory.org/
In general curiosity has been regarded with suspicion until recent times. Education has been (is) more of passing the common knowledge to the next generation, and not fostering curiosity.
Maehr, M. & Meyer, H. (1997). Understanding Motivation and schooling: Where we’ve been, where we are, and where we need to go. Educational Psychology Review, 9, 371-408.
Thoonen, E., Sleegers, P., Peetsma, Th. & Oort, F. (2011). Can teachers motivate students to learn? Educational Studies, 37 (3), 345-360.
Research on motivation has mainly concentrated on the role of goal orientation and self-evaluation in conducting learning activities. In this paper, we examine the relative importance of teachers’ teaching and their efficacy beliefs to explain variation in student motivation. Questionnaires were used to measure the well-being, academic self-efficacy, mastery goal orientation, performance avoidance, intrinsic motivation and school investment of students (n = 3462) and the teaching practices and teachers’ sense of self-efficacy (n = 194) in primary schools. Results of the multi-level analyses show that connection to the students’ world and cooperative learning methods had a positive effect on students’ motivation, while process-oriented instruction by the teacher had a negative effect on motivational behaviour and motivational factors of students. Finally, the results lend credence to the argument that teachers’ sense of self-efficacy has an impact on both teachers’ teaching and students’ motivation to learn.
Urdan, T. & Schoenfelder, E. (2006). Classroom effect on student motivation: Gpoal Structures, social relationships and competence beliefs. Journal of School Psychology 44 (5), 331-349.
Psychologists and educators have often conceptualized motivation as an individual difference variable, something that some students simply have more of than other students. This view of motivation can underestimate contextual influences. In this article we consider how characteristics of the school and classroom may influence student motivation, as well as the role of educators in shaping school and classroom climate. We describe three motivational perspectives: achievement goal theory, self-determination theory, and social-cognitive theory. The effects on motivation of social relationships with teachers and peers are also considered.
Vallerand, R., & Bissonnette, R. (1992). Intrinsic, extrinsic, and amotivational styles as predictors of behavior: A prospective study. Journal of Personality, 60, 599-620. :
At the beginning of the academic year, 388 male and 674 female 1st-term junior college students enrolled in a compulsory college course completed a scale assessing intrinsic motivation, 4 styles of extrinsic motivation, (external regulation, introjection, identification, and integration), and amotivation toward academic activities. At the end of the semester, individuals who had dropped out of the course and those who had persisted were identified. Results show that Ss who had persisted in the course had reported at the beginning of the semester being more intrinsically motivated, more identified and integrated, and less amotivated toward academic activities than students who dropped out. Females were more intrinsically motivated, integrated, and identified and were less externally regulated and amotivated than males. Females also displayed higher levels of behavioral persistence than males. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2004 APA, all rights reserved)