Monday, July 21, 2014

Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation

A huge part of a teacher's job description is to motivate students to learn. This is not a very easy task, but educators take it on year after year. I feel lucky to work with students that are generally very motivated, but some of them care more about their grade than they do about trying and learning new things. This can be another frustration of a teacher. As a school we are planing to move toward Standard-Based grading to help shift the focus from the grade to the learning. In my own classroom I want to implement gamifcation as means to increase both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.

I found the above image on Pinterest and its source is acknowledged in the picture. It  appears to offer a criticism of gamification as only inspiring extrinsic motivation through points and leaderboards, represented by all of extra greens on top. But the real motivation (the carrot) is very small. I agree that points and leaderboards will only motivate you for so long. Certainly, I would not invest so much time in this if were only to add some bells and whistles to my classroom. What really excites me about gamification is the way it allows me to feed that intrinsic motivation that is deep and significant. Video game elements within the classroom naturally lend itself to a mastery based system. If you don't meet the clearly stated standard the first time, you receive feedback and are challenged to try again. Each quest is tied to a standard so students know why they are doing the activity and what learning should come out of it.

I think gamification does provide both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Students may start off with enthusiasm for the game elements and language but will eventually come to appreciate the process and challenge of learning.

1 comment:

  1. Kaelyn:
    Amazing picture...I love it! Plus it visually clears up the difference between extrinsic and intrinsic. I love learning with visuals!! Teaching math pre- and post-graphing calculators is a prime example of how a visual can help clear up the depth of a topic. Plus it sped things up in math class considerably.
    Everyone is posting awesome pictures! Now I want to go back and change mine :)
    Thanks - Angie