Motivating learner is one the key role to be performed by any teacher.

Posted By Pankaj Mishra |2017-06-29 07:48:16

Motivating learner is one the key role performed by any teacher. As the focus of schools is shifting from teacher led learning to learner centred learning approach, learner motivation is becoming one the most crucial parameter on which success of a teacher is measured.


Unsung Heroes


·         Extrinsic Motivation

·         Intrinsic Motivation

·         Strategies for Motivating Learners



Extrinsic Motivation

Factors affecting extrinsic motivation include rewards and punishments (materialistic or emotional) e.g.  expectations of loved ones, securing a future course of study, scholarships, need of appreciations and acknowledgement.

Learners who are extrinsically motivated might express themselves like the following.

·          “I must have 8+ CGPA to get admission XYZ university.”

·         “My parents would be happy if I secure the scholarship.”

·         “School will sponsor my foreign trip if outperform others in this quiz.”


Advantages:  Results could be seen in a very short span of time and hardly demands effort.  This also doesn’t call for a great amount of homework with regard to learner’s interests.

Disadvantages: On the other hand, extrinsic motivators can often distract learners from learning the subject at hand. It can be challenging to devise appropriate rewards and punishments for learner behaviours. Often, one needs to escalate the rewards and punishments over time to maintain a certain effect level. Also, extrinsic motivators typically do not work over the long term. Once the rewards or punishments are removed, learners lose their motivation.

Intrinsic Motivation

Factors affecting intrinsic motivation include love for the subject, a sense of its usefulness in real life and the world, a sense of accomplishment in its mastery.

Learners who are intrinsically motivated might express themselves like the following.

·         “Numeracy interests me.”

·         “Mastering language enables me to express clearly.”

·         “A sense of accomplishment prevails when I succeed in Test.”


Advantages: Intrinsic motivation sustains for a longer period of time and doesn’t need any external effort.  Encouraging such motivation calls for a different kind of efforts. Such efforts often focus on the subject knowledge rather than rewards or punishments.

Disadvantages: whereas, efforts at developing intrinsic motivation may take a time to affect leaner psychology and can require special preparation.  As learners vary, a range of different strategies is required. Here knowledge of learner’s interest is crucial in order to link them with the subject matter

How to Motivate Learners

·         Be a role model for learner interest. Show your energy and enthusiasm.  Always remember your motivation, your passion motivates your learners. Personalise the course, explain your love for the subject.

·         Foster rapport with your learner. Show a strong interest in learners’ learning and confidence in their abilities.

·         Link the subject with its real world context.

·         Use a variety of activities which promote learner autonomy. As these activities directly engage learners and allow them to demonstrate their mastery.

·         Set SMART goals and help learners achieve them by encouraging them. Set challenges as per learner’s ability.

·         Be generous and specific with praise and constructive in criticism. Negative comments should be transformed into constructive feedbacks. Identify opportunities to improve.


About Author

  • Pankaj Mishra

    Pankaj is an Academic Manager with NCR Eduservices with more than 10 years of experience in teaching and learning. He is an academic evangelist and blogger.

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