Sunday, May 17, 2015

Module Five -Adaptation and Motivation

During my doctoral studies I did a lot of research about gamification. Intrinsic motivation – which refers to a person’s internal drive to perform an action purely because of the enjoyment they get from it. It’s one of the key psychological theories for gamification designers. Online gaming is so popular because players interact with people who have the same interests and they share their knowledge with like-minded individuals. This correlates with Daniel Pinks three reasons for Intrinsic Motivation;Autonomy, Mastery, and Purpose. Gamers are self motivated, seek the freedom to participate, and are self-directed. The more they play they more the player achieve understanding and mastery of the game. Players do this by playing with others (collaboration) and acquisition of skill. Gamers playing share a common "Purpose" - acquiring self-actualization by achieving certain levels of the game to eventually win. Games and learning are inherently tied together. In fact, games can be optimal vehicles for learning. One of the reasons games (even educational ones) are so popular is that they combine the enjoyment of discovery with the natural desire to gain competency (Watson, 2014). In my PE classes students are often intrinsically motivated by the health benefits of working out, but also motivated extrinsically by building muscle to impress his friends. Things that people find interesting one day can slowly become mundane the next; doing something because one wants to can easily become doing it because one has to. In education, many students have low intrinsic motivation because there is no relevance to their future. I often hear students saying "why do I have to learn that - I will never use it". Motivational researchers have studied these questions and concluded that working on a task for intrinsic reasons in not only more enjoyable, but also relates positively to learning, achievement and perceptions of competence (Eccles & Wigfield, 2002). Some students are exhausted with their personal home life situations that they have no energy for academic enthusiasm. This is why the teacher/student relationship becomes to important. One first step is to listen to your students, get to know them, their interests, and their dreams. Learning to be satisfied with a job well done is an important part of growing up. If students are not getting that at home - this becomes an important role for teachers. While motivation is often a challenging task for teachers, the rewards of having students who are interested and eager to learn make the hard work worth the effort. By combining intrinsic and extrinsic motivators, teachers can help students learn the subject at hand as well as valuable life skills. Eccles, Jacquelynne S., and Allan Wigfield. "Motivational beliefs, values, and goals." Annual review of psychology 53.1 (2002): 109-132. Watson, Zach. "4 Real-World Examples That Explain Intrinsic Motivation." TechnologyAdvice. N.p., 28 Oct. 2014. Web. 17 May 2015.

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