By Richard Romando
Student motivation refers to a student's interest, desire, compulsion, and need to participate in and be successful in the learning process. It is generally accepted that student motivation plays a key role in academic learning.
Highly motivated students actively engage more in the learning process than less motivated students. Motivated students have a positive impact on learning. They take advantage of a given opportunity and show intense effort and concentration in the implementation of learning process. Also, they reveal positive emotions such as excitement, enthusiasm, interest, and optimism during learning.
On the other side, the less motivated were found to be less interested in participating in the learning process. Most of them were physically present in the class room but were mentally absent. They often failed to actively engage themselves in the learning tasks. Such students were more likely to stop learning. Less motivated students should be guided so as to develop a favorable attitude towards the learning process.
A teacher or an instructor has a significant role in guiding less motivated students. A technique called attribution retraining, which includes modeling, socialization, and practice exercises, is used to restructure less motivated students. Its aim is to help students to concentrate on the learning task without the fear of failure.
There are two types of student motivation such as extrinsic motivation and intrinsic motivation. Extrinsic motivation is defined as the motivation to engage in an activity in order to obtain rewards or to avoid punishments from an external source. Extrinsically motivated students undertake an activity for the sake of getting good grades or a teacher's approval. Extrinsic motivation is again divided into two such as social motivation and material motivation. Social motivations include approval of teachers, parents, and friends. Good grades, future education, or job security come under material motivations.
Intrinsic motivation refers to engaging in an activity for its own sake, for the pleasure and enjoyment it provides. To be more precise, a student who is intrinsically motivated carries out an action for the learning it permits. Compared to extrinsic motivation, intrinsic motivation is more desirable as it is the motivation to engage in the learning process for the enjoyment of learning without considering its consequences.