7 Rules of Combining Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation

What is one of the most significant issues in modern education? The lack of motivation in students. 

Unfortunately, some learners have zero motivation to study. They do not want to read books and complete assignments. 

As a teacher, you have the power to change the situation. By combining intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, you can spark interest in your students and get them to study harder.

Explain the goals 

Goal setting is the key to intrinsic motivation. If you want to motivate your students to push their limits, you should set clear learning objectives. The learners should have a clear understanding of what they study, why they study, and what results they should get in the end.

Set ground rules 

Once the goals are clear, it’s time to discuss the ground rules. What resources your students are allowed to use? What writing guidelines should they follow? What deadlines should they strive to meet? 

Explain every rule in detail and encourage your students to ask you questions. It will allow you to prevent any misunderstandings that tend to corode intrinsic motivation. 

Just remember that the ground rules should be easy-to-understand and easy-to-follow. If you set too many sophisticated rules, it will not help you to boost students’ motivation.

Treat your students as your own kids

Whether you teach adults or young learners, you should treat them as your own kids. You should help them with solving difficult tasks, answer all their questions, and praise them for their small achievements. 

Once your student reaches out to you, you should be ready to assist him. Do you remember how you helped your own kids to resolve a room-sharing issue and how you prevented them from fighting? Use the same pedagogical approach when working with your students, and you will succeed.

Provide positive feedback

Studies show that positive feedback increases their feeling of competence, and also gives the learners more intrinsic motivation. It means that every time you tell your students that they did “a great job”, you motivate them to study harder.

Well, it might be easy for you to praise the achievements of the brilliant students. But what about students who do not perform well? You should try to find something good in their works too.

Let’s say a student submitted a poorly-structured essay that is full of spelling and proofreading errors. Yet, the essay is interesting to read. What kind of feedback would you provide?

To boost motivation, you should better put it this way: 

“Dear student! Your essay is interesting to read, and it seems that you have high creative skills. However, your grammatical skills need some improvement. Please, look through your mistakes and comments in red. To improve the grammar of your writing and get higher grades in the future, you can use academic writing sites and proofreading services.”

Take advantage of positive competition

If you want to motivate your students extrinsically, try to foster a friendly spirit of competition in your classroom. Use points, badges, leaderboards, and other elements of gamification to engage the learners. Trying to collect more points and get to the top of the leaderboard, your students will study harder and perform tasks better. 

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These competitive elements might not help you to keep your students motivated in the long-run. But they will help you and your learners to achieve short-term objectives.

Provide your students with options

What do all students want? They want to have some choice and control over what happens in the classroom. 

So if you want to keep your students engaged, allow them to make “little choices” on a daily basis. For instance, you can ask your students whether they prefer to take a multi-choice test or answer open-ended questions. Or, when assigning an essay, you can allow them to pick a topic to write about.

Use these tricks, and you will cultivate a positive classroom culture in which every student feels valued and respected. You will make your students feel heard, motivated, and thrive in school, work, and life.

Don’t use a one-size-fits-all approach

If you want to succeed as a teacher, never use a one-size-fits-all approach in a classroom. All students are different. And if you want to maximize your efforts, you should use different strategies to motivate different individuals.

In some cases, you will need to focus more on extrinsic motivation, in other cases – on intrinsic one. So don’t hesitate to test different strategies in your classroom and find out what works for you the best.

Wrapping up 

As a teacher, you are responsible for your students’ success. So don’t waste precious time and develop an effective motivation strategy today. Follow the rules given in this article, and you will combine intrinsic and extrinsic motivation in the right way.

About the author: Daniela McVicker is a freelance writer and an educational blogger for AllTopReviews, a reviews page for academic services. She graduated from Durham University and has an MA in psychological science. Her passion is traveling and finding ways to enrich students’ learning experiences.

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