Episode 59 How to Increase Your Students’ Motivation to Learn?

In this episode, Dan shares strategies on how to increase your students’ motivation.

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Episode 59 How to Increase Your Students’ Motivation to Learn is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

A motivated student is only a few steps away from becoming a lifelong learner. However, without the proper mindset and environment for learning, the fear of failure can override their motivation. That’s why teachers and educators must nurture students’ motivation to learn. With the proper teaching strategies and methods, you can help set up your students for personal growth and success.

This episode discusses the most effective ways to motivate students. You will learn actionable strategies in guiding your students towards a growth mindset approach. You will also get valuable insights into the importance of feedback and why student comparison is detrimental.

If you want to know strategies on how to increase your students’ motivation, stay tuned to this episode!

Here are the three reasons why you should listen to the full episode:

  1. Learn the importance of putting each student into their unique zone with every task.
  2. Find out how you can boost students’ motivation without comparing them to others.
  3. How can you make your students believe in their abilities?

Video show

Show Notes

Episode Highlights

Appropriate Challenges

  • Give students challenging tasks that surpass their current capabilities, but they can still solve through gradual learning. Vygotsky refers to this as the zone of proximal development.
  •  In the zone of proximal development, students can continuously develop and learn how to do specific tasks at a moderate and feasible pace. 
  • Mahali calls this ‘flow’ because students get in the zone through this method of learning. While in this ‘flow’, students start to focus and more effectively absorb information.
  • As students see their success, they will start to put in more and more effort into their work.
  • Make sure to adjust each task for the unique capabilities and zone of each student. You can set up three different zones: for higher-end students, middle-range average type students, and struggling students.

Dynamic Dual Pathway

  • In this learning path, students can choose either to see a particular task as beneficial for personal growth. Or, they can see it as a challenge for their well-being and that they’re going to fail it.
  • If they perceive a task as a harmful effect on their well-being, they’ll end up demotivated to accomplish that task. 
  • On the other hand, positive perception towards the whole growth mindset will help students accept the challenge. 
  • With a positive mindset toward learning, they know that the more they put in the effort, the more their cognitive ability will improve.

Creating a Safe Classroom Environment

  • You can change what you say to give them a sense of safety.
  • Explain to them that some tasks can take multiple attempts before succeeding in it. You can also remind them how they overcame and succeeded in similar activities in the past. 
  • Your classroom environment must make students feel safe to make mistakes.
  • Mistakes help you identify what you need to work on and what the next step for your learning growth.

Setting Clear Goals

  • Setting clear goals for students allows them to self-monitor.
  • Clear goals motivate students because it defines what they should be aiming for.
  • The best ways to do this is by giving set criteria, examples, and showing them what success is going to look like.

Develop Students’ Beliefs on their Own Ability

  • Make it difficult for the student to compare their progress to other students. You can do this by focusing on making them see how they improved instead of focusing on outright marks.
  • Showing them the process and in what way they improve will help boost students’ motivation. 
  • What we want to focus on is for students to have their personal best and not about beating others.
  • Provide feedback that comes with a recipe for success. It’s not giving outright answers; it has to be a formative assessment of teaching them step-by-step how to fix their mistakes.
  • Make sure to transfer learning to students by letting them realise the relation of what they’re learning with real-life. You have to make learning authentic for them.

5 Powerful Quotes from this Episode

‘The whole idea of training your brain means that your brain will get better and stronger, and improve their competitive ability. If that’s their perception, if that’s their look on learning, then they are more likely to choose personal growth’.

‘Given that the students are choosing between personal growth and the sense of preserving their well-being, it also is important to make sure that you have set up your classroom environment as one where the students feel safe to make mistakes, where they are welcomed’.

‘In fact, I would say in my class, I celebrate mistakes, because it’s a good thing to get things wrong when it comes to learning because it helps you to identify what you need to work on, what’s next for you in your steps, in your process, in your learning growth’.

‘What we really want is to focus on getting a personal best, not about beating everyone else’.

‘Make sure that you take every opportunity to transfer learning for the students. Help them to see that what they’re learning actually relates to life, that it’s authentic learning’.


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To fostering effective learning,



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