Motivating is an educational influence method that focuses on helping students "want" to perform. Motivating includes helping students feel that the experience is relevant, that they are capable, and that they have autonomy. Motivating includes the following:


  • Success is clearly defined, with a manageable goal orientation

  • Provide opportunities to acquire and acknowledge new knowledge, skills, and/or abilities

  • Provide productive experiences guided towards mastery

  • Enable active experimentation and discovery

  • Provide a variety of ways to demonstrate mastery

  • Praise and reward practice, effort, strategy, process, focus, improvement, and perseverance as well as mastery

  • Balance difficulty and challenge to avoid boredom and frustration

    • Reward problem-solving with harder problems

  • Provide fair evaluations of student performance

  • Allow students to recover from failure

    • Provide rapid feedback cycles with low stakes

  • Highlight and celebrate success

    • Rewards as informational feedback

    • Avoid unrelated external rewards or punishments as a means to promote motivation or control behavior

  • Show progress: where student has been, is, and will be going

  • Feed Forward - Phrase feedback in terms of how to improve future performance


  • Provide meaningful choices in movement, sequence, goals, pace, and strategy in activities and tasks

  • Personalization - Give students the opportunity to modify aspects of the course to reflect their personality

    • UI

    • Avatar

    • Alias

  • Allow students to define, create, modify, and share the game, content, and its rules


  • Provide meaningful content and experiences

    • Future utility is clear

    • Aligned to students’ goals and values

    • Meaningful context/narrative

    • Emotional connection

  • Provide for social connection

    • Social cognition

    • Collaboration

    • Competition

    • Comparison/Contrast

    • Companionship

    • Facilitate human-human interaction

    • Represent human social bonds

    • Facilitate one’s desire to influence others and to be influenced by others

    • Add peer voting to activities like online discussions and forums