More Motivation!

Katie Salen on the Power of Games Based Learning. This is one of my all-time favourite videos 🙂

Task: e-tivity 4.2
Read – Keller, J. (2008) An Integrative Theory of Motivation, Volition and Performance. Technology, Instruction, Cognition and Learning, Vol 6. 79-104.

On your blog answer the following question:

  1. Why do you think we as instructional designers pay more attention to motivational and volitional factors now than in the past?

Two critical components that all educators need to consider  when beginning to plan a unit of work or lesson is how to make the experience meaningful and authentic for the learner. I use the Quality Teaching Model (NSW DET, 2003) and specifically focus on Dimension 3 – Significance to inform my design process. In order to make work motivating for my students it needs to make a connection with them. They need to care about the work they are doing and have ownership in-order  to “create the conditions for learning” (Reiser & Dempsey, 2012, p. 295).  This creates a domino effect as students become empowered and confident sharing and synthesising their knowledge leading to substantive communication, self-regulation and deeper knowledge integration. All indicators of quality teaching and learning. Lesson design must be inclusive and incorporate differentiation i.e. Who are my students? What do they already know? What do they need to learn? How will I get them there? How will I know they have learnt? Were they engaged and what do I need to change?

The needs of learners and the world in which they live is also in a constant state of flux and this again drives the need for designers to develop more motivational and volitional strategies within their work. Student demographics have changed from one dominating ethnic group to a mixture of many with differing cultural backgrounds (Carl, Baker, Robards, Scott, Hillman & Lawrence, 2012) and the NSW curriculum for primary education has undergone a significant change as it shifts over to a national curriculum with new and significant changes and priorities. Creativity and the use of digital technologies is highlighted throughout and this is pushing the classroom teacher to develop new understandings as they must enable their students with 21st century skills necessary to navigate and succeed as adults in a complex and very connected world. Keller (2008) highlights the theory of Crossing the Rubicon in discussion with the term volition and this again highlights that the learning objective must be worth the effort and application needed. Students must be self- motivated to achieve the desired learning outcome – ‘effort persistence’ (Keller, 2008, p.88) . I am very familiar with the term Crossing the Rubicon as this is used in a number of Steiner schools (I worked in one for a number of years) to determine, understand and develop learning plans for year 3 and 4 students as they shift through the developmental stage. Click this link for more information: STEINER APPROACH TO CHILD DEVELOPMENT p.9 discusses the Rubicon theory.


Carl, J., Baker, S., Robards, B., Scott, J., Hillman, W., & Lawrence, G. (2012). Think sociology. Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson.

Hinde-McLeod, J., & Reynolds, R. (2006). Quality teaching for quality learning. In T. Boyle (Ed.), TCH10135: Pedagogy in practice: Quality teaching (Revised ed., pp. 46-70). South Melbourne: Cenage.

Keller, J. (2008). An Integrative Theory of Motivation, Volition and Performance. Technology, Instruction, Cognition and Learning, 6, 79-104.

NSW Department of Education and Training. (2003). Quality teaching in NSW public schools.  Sydney, NSW: NSW Government.

Reiser, R., & Dempsey, J. (Eds.). (2012). Trends and issues in instructional design and technology / edited by Robert A. Reiser, John V. Dempsey. Boston: Pearson.


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