Motivation and Adult Learning Online: Dec 1-17, 2010

Definitions of Motivation - What does motivation mean to you?

Definitions of Motivation - What does motivation mean to you?

by FIRAT SARSAR -
Number of replies: 24
Lets start here.

What does motivation mean to you?
In reply to FIRAT SARSAR

Re: Definitions of Motivation - What does motivation mean to you?

by FIRAT SARSAR -

Motivation drives us to to something such as getting up early for going to work, studying new things. It also encourage us to try again and again when we don’t achieve our goals (Tileston,2010).

I believe that Motivation is to have power to step forward.

*Tileston, D. (2010). What every teacher should know about student motivation (2nd ed.) Thousand Oaks Calif.: Corwin.



In reply to FIRAT SARSAR

Re: Definitions of Motivation - What does motivation mean to you?

by Nicholas Bowskill -

Hi Firat and everyone,
This was a surprise. And a nice one. It is so much more interesting to me to think about educational issues first then technology second.

Motivation is an interesting topic and one that as I type I realise how problematic it is. Firstly, I thought about your comment on motivation as the power to step forward. That makes it sound like a noun - some kind of driver for learning perhaps? Something that can be thought of as a tool to bring into play maybe? I hadn't thought of it in that kind of utilitarian approach but maybe I should because we can bring it into play when we offer courses perhaps. Hmm.

I also noted on the front page of this event there was mention of measuring motivation. I guess in some ways this comes from the same language set. We have this 'vehicle' and we want to measure its 'performance' in different contexts. Do you see where I'm going with this? There is for me a very mechanistic corporate kind of mentality - a kind of instructional design or technical-rationalist mind-set coming into play here maybe. I'm not saying it doesn't have some validity in some contexts but I have a feeling there are other ways of thinking about motivation - more intrinsic perhaps.

For me I find it enormously motivating to come to this kind of open forum. I'm not going to be formally assessed and if I am its unlikely to have grave consequences for me. I just feel energised by the thought of a dialogue on educational issues and I have a sense that here are some people I can engage with in an interesting discussion.

What motivates me most -and online or offline really - is the ability to hear about and from others. Its the chance to share thoughts and practices in an open conversation. That for me is the motivation.

Nick


-----------------------------------------
Nicholas Bowskill,
Faculty of Education
University of Glasgow
Scotland

http://sharedthinking.info

In reply to Nicholas Bowskill

Re: Definitions of Motivation - What does motivation mean to you?

by Roxanne Russell -

Hi Nick-

I am, like you, resistant to mechanistic thinking; however, measuring motivation in the online classroom could really be useful. Dialogue sounds like something you are very interested in.

What if the discussion were about more dialogic or open-ended ways to measure motivation, rather than dismissing the idea of measuring it at all? Would that motivate a brainstorming session with you?

In reply to FIRAT SARSAR

Task-specific & course-specific motivation

by Roxanne Russell -

As a scholar type, motivation is for me intrinsic and related to my interest and engagement (much like Judy's clear and concise list). However, for my online students (often busy, distracted adults with full-time jobs and families) motivation boils down to reaching milestones and achieving levels in order to graduate. That type of motivation is long-term, though- It would seem useful to distinguish task-specific motivation and course-specific motivation in order to discuss motivation in the online classroom.

In reply to Roxanne Russell

Re: Task-specific & course-specific motivation

by Judy Southwell -

Great points, Roxanne.  When I studied online, motivation did boil down to largely getting assignments in on time.  Though, web conferenced sessions that some instructors set up created opportunities to reconnect with my cohort, improve understanding, ask questions, etc. So, I think effective use of technology and artful facilitation play key roles in helping learners stay motivated.

It would be good to hear more about distinctions between task-specific motivation and course-specific motivation.  While tasks can be planned when a course is being developed, well placed questions or thought provoking feedback can reignite interest/motivation.  

In reply to Judy Southwell

Re: Task-specific & course-specific motivation

by Roxanne Russell -
Hi judy- I've been teaching online for several years now, and I find it challenging to keep up good dialogue in the classroom when I'm short on time. Only when I have at least a half hour to sit and focus on my class can I engage in good, possibly motivating conversation in my classroom. I find this to be my biggest challenge as a facilitator, and I think it is a big challenge for students as well- setting aside dedicated time for participation in addition to assignments and reading.
In reply to Roxanne Russell

Re: Task-specific & course-specific motivation

by Dilip Barad -
R.Russell,
I do agree with you. It takes half an hour at least, to focus on the topics and class. Otherwise it is difficult to deliver 100%.
Dilip Barad
In reply to Dilip Barad

Re: Task-specific & course-specific motivation

by Nicholas Bowskill -

Yes I completely agree with the points raised about time and online teaching. I think to do it properly you really have to settle and think about what lies behind different messages. That can mean thinking about the emotional state - the feelings - behind messages as well as the content. It can also mean thinking about the implications of any reply too.

In part this is the strength of online learning - that everyone is able to give it time and thought but it can be a struggle sometimes for everyone can't it? Group learning can help to share the responsibility for support and learning. That can help take the pressure off although the responsibility still rests with the tutors.

I think collaborative approaches are more motivating for everyone - tutors and participants - but time is a big issue that management may not fully appreciate sometimes. Plus the same applies to experiential professional/faculty development for this kind of learning!

Nick
In reply to Nicholas Bowskill

Re: Task-specific & course-specific motivation

by Roxanne Russell -

I teach at the University of Phoenix which requires Learning Teams. I like the use of the teams, but students complain a lot when they feel they take on the burden of the work for others. I encourage the group work strategies, but we all know what it's like to be saddled with slackers.

In your post about perspective taking, you emphasize group work. Do some students compain about it?

In reply to Roxanne Russell

Re: Task-specific & course-specific motivation

by Nicholas Bowskill -

Hi Roxanne,
I know what you mean. It can be a problem. Not so much in our courses because they're about collaborative learning so people come on them expecting to be involved in group work etc. Even so there's sometimes a reality check when they start doing this kind of thing. And life sometimes gets in the way causing some people to be around online less. The other thing is to make it an issue for the course participants to discuss and address. Do they think everyone has done their bit of the task? And to support their view whatever it is.

I think its important to avoid the labels like shurkers and slackers and to try and understand and negotiate the rules of play and the reasons as part of the collaborative process. There can be very good reasons why people stand back. I'm sure its the case here too.

In my face to face work I've made it into a shared enquiry into an issue. I've developed a structure that's quite robust and the technology helps us all focus on the screen where we interact together. There are no shurkers at all in this case. The structure and the required interaction picks up everyone and drives the collective activity. I guess, in the context of this discussion, it means the structure is the motivator.

How do you handle the ones that are less involved Roxanne? Have you found any strategies to motivate them?

Nick





In reply to FIRAT SARSAR

Re: Definitions of Motivation - What does motivation mean to you?

by FIRAT SARSAR -
Hi Nicholas,Judy and Roxanne. Thank you for your great comments.
Nicholas, My friends know me that i like playing words to make people confused. :)

While reading comments, I noticed that we (adults who feel young forever smile ) are getting really self-directed learners. Adults like taking control of their own learning process. Do We want to manage our motivational process as well?
Do our motivational factors change day by day? How?

About measuring motivation I think we will have time to discuss it, because it is very debatable topic for me.

In reply to FIRAT SARSAR

Re: Definitions of Motivation - What does motivation mean to you?

by Nicholas Bowskill -

Hi Everyone,
Just from an instructional design perspective, one of the things we always found motivating in online work was organising work into groups and sharing group products. It's always interesting to see what others are doing and have done isn't it? It's part of why we join in these sessions.

I'm interested in perspective-taking and sharing experiences and products and practices is a way of understanding our own lives in the context of others. Firat, in some ways that's why *we* are self-directed on here. We participate because it resonates with our experiences and interests which we offer to others.

Judy, I think your point about feeling engaged and commited to the activity/learning also relates to this idea of relating others to ourselves through the ideas and objects that are shared. And Roseanne, I think this might be a way of providing some kind of measure - the extent to which there is evidence of perspective-taking - the way we do or are able to relate our lives to those of peers/colleagues etc.

So my answer to motivation is to 'do' perspective-taking. But that's from the perspective of someone motivated by PT as the basis for *all* learning.

Best wishes from a very snowed up UK (although from the perspective of Canada I suspect this looks a bit tame)

Nick

http://sharedthinking.info

In reply to Nicholas Bowskill

Re: Definitions of Motivation - What does motivation mean to you?

by FIRAT SARSAR -
These days I am very focusing on relationship between Self-directed learning and motivation. That is why i mentioned some thing about self-directed learning. i tired to explain we are self-directed learning not only here but also our daily lives.

Btw, The reason why i moved to Atlanta is warm weather. :).

Firat.


In reply to Nicholas Bowskill

Re: Definitions of Motivation - What does motivation mean to you?

by Roxanne Russell -

Do you have strategies for perspective taking in the online classroom?

In reply to Roxanne Russell

Re: Definitions of Motivation - What does motivation mean to you?

by Nicholas Bowskill -

Hi Roxanne,
Yes I do. Any kind of online group work involves perspective-taking. Divide the class into groups of 4 or 5 to do a group task. Then make sure they all share their group product in a separate forum at the end. You might also cause them to check each other's group-products and give feedback so they actually look at it.

There's all kinds of different online group activities and they nearly all involve perspective-taking. You could even invite people to post a review of external sites in the same forum as the basis for sharing different views. Then each person could be required to produce their own design specifying how it related to the site they visited. That would cause them to relate one to the other.

Nick
In reply to FIRAT SARSAR

Re: Definitions of Motivation - What does motivation mean to you?

by Roxanne Russell -
I recently took a faculty development course on Metacognition and methods to encourage it in students in the online classroom. Some of these strategies, for example- asking students to reflect on why they chose which DQ they chose out of a list of options, prompt students to look at their learning process. Firat, methods to promote metacognition might promote motivation management because it prompts motivation awareness or analysis.
In reply to Roxanne Russell

Re: Definitions of Motivation - What does motivation mean to you?

by Nicholas Bowskill -

Hi Roxanne/Firat/Everyone,
I'd be really interested to hear more about the metacognition course if you were willing to share that. Reflection is a process for that and I can see how it relates to motivation through self-awareness. I guess in my mind I'm thinking about the way that awareness of the self is activated. How did they describe metacognition and did they suggest any resources or methods to develop it, as part of the course? Was it more than diaries and journals for example?

Nick
In reply to Nicholas Bowskill

Re: Definitions of Motivation - What does motivation mean to you?

by Roxanne Russell -

Hi Nick-

This course did have quite a few good resources. Here is a list of suggested optional reading from the internet:

http://academic.pgcc.edu/~wpeirce/MCCCTR/metacognition.htm

http://www.edpsycinteractive.org/topics/cogsys/metacogn.html

http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/metacognition/introduction.html

http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/metacognition/teaching_metacognition.html

http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/metacognition/tactics.html

In the 4th one from the top on the list is a suggestion about "lecture wrappers." I like this strategy in particular in the asynchronous online classroom because the discussion thread allows students to refer back.

In reply to Roxanne Russell

Re: Definitions of Motivation - What does motivation mean to you?

by Nicholas Bowskill -

Hi Roxanne,
Thank you very much for the links. They're really interesting and I'm going to spend some time looking through them. I glanced at the wrappers ideas and I agree they could work well as you say. What about the idea of asking the same thing before 'the lecture' or session as well? I think the underlying idea of the strategy is self-elicitation isn't it? Even when they go into a new subject it can be useful to externalise a guess as to what it might be about etc. And as you say once online it could be something to refer back to.

It makes me also think that rather than the activity being in service of the tutor it could be about sharing those views. That could work nicely online. You could have them all post online at the start. The collection could even be revealed only once every has posted. That could then be a forum/phase of its own in which the views of others was the basis of a discussion where you could all ask for clarification or give an explanation of your own answer etc.
The tutor could then support that process.

Anyway there's lots of ideas on and offline isn't there? Thanks again for what looks like a fascinating resource and I might get back with some more questions after reading through them, if you don't mind.

Cheers Roxanne.

Nick



In reply to FIRAT SARSAR

Re: Definitions of Motivation - What does motivation mean to you?

by Judy Southwell -

Motivation for me means....

  • being engaged or excited by a topic...feel connected.
  • feeling committed to a community or a team working together on a group project.
  • having structure like an effective environment--even a constraint.
  • having learning that is meaningful/applicable to me.

In reply to Judy Southwell

Re: Definitions of Motivation - What does motivation mean to you?

by Pat Tymchatyn -
I will take Judy's definition and just change the last point to personal and practical as any adult learner would look for. However I have noted many times in my own learning environment that I can be motivated by another person's enthusiasm for the subject be they the professor or student whether or not it is relevant for me.
In reply to Pat Tymchatyn

Re: Definitions of Motivation - What does motivation mean to you?

by Roxanne Russell -
Neat inspiration, Pat. What does that enthusiasm look like?
In reply to FIRAT SARSAR

Re: Definitions of Motivation - What does motivation mean to you?

by Heather Ross -
I think that others have made some great comments on this already, so I'll just add something quickly. I think when someone is really motivated to do something, the task goes from "have to" or "should" to "get to".
In reply to Heather Ross

Re: Definitions of Motivation - What does motivation mean to you?

by Roxanne Russell -

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