Teach the Earth > Affective Domain > Workshop 07 > Gallery Walk about Motivation

Gallery Walk about Motivation

These are the questions and responses from a workshop session about student motivation. You can find all the workshop activities and presentations on the workshop program page. You can find out more information about how to use the Gallery Walk format in your classroom.

Question 1: What are the behaviors of motivated students?

Characteristics of motivated students

  • Alert in class, ready for learning activities
  • Ask interesting questions
  • Prepared for class and read ahead of time
  • Engage with the material in a meaningful way
  • Make connections to past teaching and real-world situations
  • Go beyond what is expected. Stay after class to ask questions
  • Active learners
  • Use grade for feedback
  • In group situations, eager to hear others' ideas and help others
  • Want to be there
  • Transfer course content to deeper independent study
  • Involved in extra department activities
  • Readers
  • Seeking out new experiences
  • Inquisitive
  • Willing to experiment or take risks
  • Sit in the front row
  • Able to recover from failure
  • Use office hours or email questions/clarifications
  • Form study groups
  • Take more courses in discipline
  • Good at time management
  • Open to learning new things outside of major

Intrinsically motivated students:

  • Ask questions
  • Push our boundaries
  • Stay on task longer
  • Stay after class, engage with instructor
  • Show up to class
  • Bring in materials/info relevant to course
  • Express desires
  • Do what is expected of them (both their own expectations and the instructor's)
  • Show interest
  • Bring and share additional information, texts etc.
  • Opportunity cost is important to them/often they mention this
  • Become peer instructors (in small groups)
  • Building connections between material that is covered in class and outside reading or exploring on their own
Extrinsically motivated students:
  • What will be on the test?
  • Argue test grades
  • Expect awards
  • Sit in the front of the classroom

Question 2: What are the behaviors of unmotivated students?

Characteristics of unmotivated students:

  • Bored
  • Sleeping - back row preference
  • Skipping class
  • Not participating
  • Not prepared
  • Satisfied with a "D"
  • Surfing web
  • Chatting in class on unrelated issues
  • Reading recreational material in class
  • Late to class and packing up early
  • Blowing off/forgetting to do assignments
  • Late submission of assignments
  • Cell phones/text message/playing games
  • Talking/body language
  • Not buying/reading book
  • Cramming
  • Cheating
  • Last minute pleas for extra credit or special treatment
  • Frequent excuses
  • Sense of entitlement
  • Underachieving
  • Inattentive in class
  • Whine
  • Disruptive
  • Distracted, multitasking
  • Arguments about grades
  • Blank stare
  • Do bare minimum
  • Don't do reading
  • Excuses

Question 3: Why are some students unmotivated in college classes?

Why are some students unmotivated?

  • Don't like instructor
  • They don't want to be there
  • Don't see info as relevant; only want to take classes in their major
  • Believe expectations are too high or low
  • Different priorities
    • Parties
    • Sports
    • Greek/social activities
    • Work
    • Family
  • Mental, physical, emotional illness, either diagnosed or undiagnosed
  • Fear of science and math
  • Poor instruction/teaching
  • Feel isolated in class, they have no choices. Also anonymity in large classes
  • Lazy
  • Told course is not relevant or important
  • Powerless to change their outcome, low self-confidence
  • Time of day
  • Overwhelmed-too much else to do (depressed)
  • Don't yet understand the utility of the course
  • Just want the grade but not interest in content = instrumentally motivated
  • Lack of values/intentionality
  • Lack of purpose
  • Lack of maturity
  • Lack of strategies
  • Low self-efficacy
  • Sexual override impairs thinking
  • Fear of failure
  • Life complications such as job or family
  • Lack of interest in subject
  • Poor academic skills/preparation
  • Poor or generally ineffective teacher
  • Unmotivated teacher
  • Social pressures
  • Poor self-image
  • Prior bad experiences in learning/teaching
  • "Science sucks"
  • Irrelevant—"what's in it for me?"
  • Poor nutrition
  • Too many outside responsibilities/demands
  • Parents - poor family or cultural support

Question 4: Who is responsible for student motivation?

For each of the questions below, participants answered by placing a sticker on a 0 to 100 percent scale. There were two groups of respondents.

  • Place a mark on the scale below to indicate the proportion of responsibility for student motivation that lies with the student and instructor.
  • Place a mark on the scale below to indicate the proportion of responsibility for determining the choice of assignments that lies with the student and instructor.
  • Place a mark on the scale below to indicate the proportion of responsibility for determining the classroom environment (e.g., structure and organization of class) that lies with the student and instructor.
Responses to the question "who is responsible for student motivation?" Responses to the question "who is responsible for student motivation?"