Motivation in Classroom Software

By: Diana Jacobson


1. the reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way.
2. the general desire or willingness of someone to do something.

Summary of Literature:

There are many theories explaining or describing motivation and how to strengthen it within a student.
A few theories are: Malone's Motivation Theory and Keller's ARCS.

Malone's Motivation Theory:
There are three factors that originally made up Malone's theory; they were curiosity, challenge and fantasy.
There are two different curiosities; sensory and cognitive.
Sensory Curiosity - aroused by visual or auditory effects that are surprising or attract attention
Cognitive Curiosity - aroused by information that conflicts with the learner's existing knowledge or expectation, is contradictory, or insome way
The challenge should be individualized for each student in order for them to be challenged enough to want to keep learning. The challenge should increase as the learner increases their performance. There should be "uncertain outcomes" in order to extend the challenge further. There should also be challenging goals created before the lesson begins.
By allowing students to imagine themselves in a situation where the information they are learning is valuable to them allows the learner to see the value of the lesson as well increasing their effort and involvement in the lesson.
external image IntrinsicMotivation-Malone.jpg

At a later point, Malone added learner control to his factors.
Learner Control:
There are three rules that are involved. They are contingency, choice and power.
Contingency: the lesson should be a result of the learner's response or action.
Choice: the learner should be able to choose the sequence of the lesson as well
as the difficulty.
Power: a very motivating belief especially when the effects of the learners
decisions have "powerful effects."

Along with the four factors in Malone's theory, there was also the idea of intrinsic versus extrinsic motivators.
Intrinsic - when the motivation comes from within; when the learner wants to learn
because it is "fun."
Extrinsic - when the motivation comes from external factors, such as payment for going
to school. It becomes about the reward instead of the instruction.

Keller's ARCS Motivation Theory:
John Keller's main point of view was "the instructional designer must be proficient at motivation design as well as instructional strategy and content design" (Alessi & Trollip, 2001, p. 26). There are four "design considerations for creating motivating instruction" they are: attention, relevance, confidence and satisfaction.

It must be captured at the beginning and held throughout the lesson. This can be done using a variety of content as well as a variety of pictures/videos/animations/etc.

Allowing the learners to see that what they are learning is useful to them and their lives.

John Keller
John Keller
There are three exercises that will increase confidence -
1. making expectations for the learning clear to the learner
2. providing reasonable opportunities to be successful in the lesson
3. giving the learner personal control. (Alessi & Trollip, p. 27)

Satisfaction will increase by:
- Providing positive consequences following progress
- Giving encouragement during times of difficulty
- Being fair: - fairness comes from consistency.

Summary of Literature Continued...

In a study conducted by Yong-chil Yang (1996) he observed two groups using either learner control or program control. The group who was in the program control group scored higher on the post test than the learner control group. However, there was no significant difference between the two groups in regards to Keller's ARCS. Both groups were satisfied by the program more than they were confident about it.

Chan Lin (2009), administered a study using Keller's ARCS to develop a web-based lesson. He used the motivational model as well as cooperative learning activities as well as using a task-oriented approach. They assessed the students learning and motivation discovering that the students found this innovative learning approach fun and rewarding.


~ >Official website of John Keller and his theory of the ARCS model.
~ >Website that explains Malone's Motivational Theory.
~ Alessi, Stephen M., & Trollip, Stanley R. (2001). Multimedia for learning methods and devlopment. Needham Heights, MA: A Person Education Company.
~ ChanLin, L. (2009). Applying motivation analysis in a web-based course. Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 46 (1), 91-103.
~ Yang, Yong-chil, & Chin, We-kyo. (1996). Motivational analysis on the effects of type of instructional control on learning from computer based instruction. Journal of Educational Technology Systems, 25 (1), 25-35.