STRATEGIES FOR MOTIVATION IN THE UNIVERSITY
Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Conference name: 3rd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2011
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:The establishment of the European Convergence Plan on higher education involves new actions to achieve a more complete student learning process and therefore to reach a quality teaching system at University.
The best manner to obtain this improvement in the learning process is to transfer the point of attention from the professor teaching process to the student learning process. That is why one of the main objectives of the teacher should be to increase the students´ motivation. It is known that a high student motivation contributes to the development of satisfactory and appropriated learning process and helps the student to overcome difficulties and develop good study attitudes.
The most valuable motivation for students is that which is related to the own tasks student. For this reason it is important to involve students to the learning-teaching process. The professor can use different strategies for this objective such as offering students the possibility to face with practical problems examples to the subject, stimulating the participation of student by means of questions, seminaries or exhibitions developing learning abilities different from the traditional memorizing methods.
On the other hand, not all students are motivated by the same values, needs, desires, or wants. Some students can be motivated by the others’ approval and by overcoming challenges. One of the strategies which could help students to become self-motivated would be giving frequent, early, positive feedback in support to students’ stimulations and being self-confident. Another way could be to ensure opportunities for students’ success by assigning tasks, to help students to find personal meaning and value in the material, to create an open and positive atmosphere and to help students to feel that they are valued members of a learning community.
We must consider students' existing needs. Students learn better when incentives for learning in a classroom satisfy their own motives, the needs to perfect skills, to overcome challenges, to become competent, to succeed and feel involved and to interact with other people. Also it is important to set expectations for students when teacher makes assignments, gives presentations, conducts discussions, and grades examinations. To achieve a purpose, students need to believe that achievement is possible and for that reason teachers have to help students to set achievable goals for themselves. In order to avoid dissapointments and frustations it could be helpful to evaluate their progress and also to critique their own work, for example, considering a self-evaluation form with one or two assignments.
Moreover, it could be useful to include optional or alternative units in the course even to increase the difficulty of the material as the semester progresses giving students opportunities to succeed at the beginning of the semester. If assignments and exams include easier and harder questions, every student will have a chance to experience success as well as challenge.