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How motivation affects learning?

  • Every action is performed under the influence of motivation. It is the motive that drives us to aspire, seek and conquer something. It directs an individual to stay focused on the achievement of his goal. Like every other activity in the world, motivation has an impact on learning also. It energizes an individual to make consistent efforts to learn and improve himself. Learning is a process that depends heavily upon an individual’s will and behaviour. You cannot teach someone forcefully if he does not want to. This is the reason motivation plays a crucial role in enhancing the learning experience for students.


    Motivation is a process that involves cognitive, social, emotional, and biological forces to activate, enhance or eliminate the desired behaviour in an individual. It is a common belief that motivation results in a person initiating or doing something; however, it may also result in discontinuation or termination of a particular activity. When motivational forces are used in learning, they are usually expected to instinct learning behaviour in an individual or student. Lack of motivation among students is one of the significant obstacles to achieving learning goals and objectives. To understand the role of motivation in learning, it is vital to observe the difference in the performance of highly motivated and not-so-motivated students.


    Types of motivation:

    Broadly motivation is classified into two types, namely intrinsic and extrinsic.


    Intrinsic motivation:

    Intrinsic motivation refers to the internal urge to do a task for the pleasure and satisfaction. This type of motivation is quite rare among students in learning and education. However, an intrinsically motivated student would be one who takes learning as a source of self-satisfaction and contentment. Such as students who are so fond of learning that they offer assignment writing service to their fellows or others who need it.


    Extrinsic motivation:

    Extrinsic motivation refers to the motivation resulting from external incentives in the form of punishments or rewards. This type of motivation is more common in education. However, it is considered harmful for education as it results in ineffective and short-term learning. Experts believe that the use of incentives for motivating students may limit their exploration.


    Importance of motivation:

    Motivation serves as the orientation to facilitate learning. It has a significant impact on the attitude of a person towards learning. It affects the students’ expected behaviour towards learning. Higher the motivation, higher would be the attention and level of effort of an individual for learning. A highly motivated student would never settle for incomplete or unauthentic information. He would always seek ways to enhance his learning. 

    The impact of motivation in learning is evident from the below points mentioned.

    Fostering critical thinking and creativity:

    Intrinsic motivation results in cultivating critical thinking abilities and fostering creativity in a student. It enables an individual to look for different dimensions of a situation other than the one that everyone sticks to. This has nothing to do with their intelligence level. It is about the curiosity that never lets them sit down and keeps them looking for answers. Students who are intrinsically motivated seem to be having a unique thinking pattern than the rest of the classroom as they analyze multiple aspects of the question.


    Moreover, they do not rely on the concepts usually believed by all but look for pieces of evidence to validate those concepts. Their thinking is not confined due to the fear of getting low grades. They aim to learn. Therefore, they usually ask thought-provoking questions and give reflective answers that help enhance their fellow students' learning. Building a creative and critically thinking mindset is one of the foremost objectives of learning that can be achieved through motivation.


    Cultivation of self-resilience:

    In this era of globalization and technological advancements, everyone seems to be more conscious about his social image than ever before. The same is the case with students. Nowadays, they are more concerned with getting high grades to enjoy a better social image in front of others. However, intrinsically motivated students never run behind temporary fame and are more concerned about intellectually enhancing themselves. Moreover, they are better able to recover from a failure quickly than other students. Their motivation enables them to use failure as an opportunity to improve their flaws. They are not afraid of criticism from teachers or fellow students and therefore are more confident. 


    Nurturing of goal-oriented mindsets:

    An aimless effort goes in vain irrespective of the hard work and utilization of resources. On the other ****, a goal-oriented approach helps in making a difference in learning and the measurement of performance and results. Having clear and realistic learning goals along with the motivation to achieve them makes learning more effective. An intrinsically motivated student is able to learn more through setting small goals to reach the final objective. This type of learning has long-term effects and benefits students in their practical life also. 


    Persistence through challenges:

    A student comes across different challenges during the learning process. Those with low or no motivation give up on challenges feeling helpless during hard times. On the other ****, motivated students show persistence through challenging tasks and find ways to come out of them with some learning. It gives them the courage to face challenges with courage and not to reduce by them. Due to this, they are able to learn more as it is said that learning through experience lasts longer. Students who are scared to face challenges and lack the motivation to face them miss various learning opportunities and practical application of their learning. 


    Establishment of flow during learning:

    The condition of flow in learning is defined as a mental state in which a person becomes unconscious of time as he is more focused on learning. This state is considered ideal for learning as the focus shifts towards learning, and a student does not get distracted by irrelevant thoughts. It enables a person to understand things better and generate innovative ideas.

    Studies and experience prove that motivation has a deep connection with learning as it enhances its scope. It results in a better attitude of students towards learning and enables them to explore the world.