When talking about student motivation, we like to think in terms of “inspiration” rather than “motivation”.
The online world is giving students access to valuable educational content that they might otherwise miss out on. Content that’s extra-curricular but useful is now available at the click of a few buttons – all the things teachers would love to teach but don’t have the time to do so in class due to the demands of mainstream learning.
It’s now really easy for students to access online resources to help with their homework. But, ideally, students would jump to consume this content for its own sake. They would find content that inspires them. And use it to fuel independent research that complements what they are learning at school.
One key question arises. How to boost student motivation and the desire to consume educational content online?
Many schools turn to VLEs and online content providers for homework or to spice up lessons. However, there’s evidence that students aren’t engaged in these. Simply presenting content online doesn’t offer enough. It doesn’t sustain the levels of motivation required to succeed.
What if there’s a better way of doing things? The issue isn’t about the content itself, but about knowing how young people want to consume content. It’s about thinking: what makes someone connect with a piece of content in a more meaningful way? It’s about understanding this so that we can inspire a natural desire to learn and seek out new opportunities.
This is something we are interested in at Vivo HQ. We want to create learning experiences that mean something to students (and teachers too!). Creating an online experience that is fun, social, gamified and holistic. But, also, one in which students are aware of their own progression through self-reflection.
You might call it “motivation”, but we like to talk in terms of “inspiration”. Because it’s moments of inspiration – if tracked, mapped, reflected upon, and then turned into manageable chunks – that are the key to nurturing a love of learning. It can inspire lifelong learning.
If students self-reflect on content consumed: what they are learning, the skills they are accruing, the character development etc., they are far more likely to be invested in a way that will sustain their interest.
As we see it, our goal is to establish a connection between content consumption and self-reflective learning. This is the key to student motivation and online learning.