Extrinsic and intrinsic motivations are two opposing ways to motivate people. Extrinsic motivation deals with motivations that are outside of your passions, and personal self-esteem. Extrinsic motivation examples would be money, bonuses, nice cars, high grades in school, gold stars for athletics, etc. Extrinsic motivation is anything outside of yourself that you need to obtain or acquire to increase motivation. This usually results from an outside force or pressure, which compels an individual to engage in an activity or complete a goal.

With extrinsic motivation, the external rewards are the ultimate motivation for completing an action. Intrinsic motivation is the opposite. You get paid for doing what you truly enjoy doing, nice cars and houses don’t motivate you as much as your joy in work, learning, and the things that truly motivate you internally. This type of motivation is associated with completing an action simply because the doer wants to do it. He or she recognizes the action as value, and engages in it repeatedly as a result. One who possesses intrinsic motivation will complete a task or activity even without the prospect of rewards or praise.

An intrinsically motivated person will attribute his or her successes and failures to factors that are in their control, and maintain a sense of pride when they are striving to achieve a goal. Now that I have defined Extrinsic and Intrinsic motivation in my own words, I will be discussing the challenges that students face in an online learning environment and how teachers can foster each type of motivation. Every student who enrolls in school whether it is online or traditionally facilitated is motivated at first to a certain degree.

There is always reasoning behind a person’s extrinsic or intrinsic drive to pursue higher education; otherwise one would not even bother. Now the sustainability of a student’s motivational drive is the real challenge. While the level of motivation retained varies with each individual, oftentimes the reasons they are motivated are not so different. I feel, the key to providing a motivating online environment such as this is to initially understand what it is that student’s want and need from their school environment.

Without this understanding, it is practically impossible to implement a successful plan with which to create motivation. One of the common challenges that student’s will face in an online learning environment is distance. Without the close knit environment that a traditional school provides, online students must be able to work independently and socially adjust to communication on threads, vice group and personal interaction. Another challenge online student’s face is time.

Not all, but many individuals who opt to pursue online education are already work force engaged and manage their school time around their job. At times, it can be difficult to not have an appointed time and place for school, as this can allow too much breathing room for not completing assignments on time due to whatever obstacle or reason. Realizing that with all of the factors online students desire from an education institution (such as a sense of belonging, personal growth opportunities and satisfaction that accompanies their motivation to learn), perhaps the one thing they desire most is a strong teacher.

Educators who can provide clear, concise expectations paired with desired outcomes that are commonly affiliated with goal setting, consistent feedback to their students, and finally providing direction, structure and a solid framework in which students can work efficiently. Basically, in my opinion, motivation originates with the student and teacher like a two way street. It is the key to a student’s school success and is the driving force behind successful learning. In order for a teacher to foster each motivation, he/she must first find what motivates the students to learn and design their instruction around incorporating that strategy.

Teachers need to be personal with the student and take an interest in their achievements and goals. For intrinsic motivation, instead of assigning the student a written assignment, have the student create a model, mobile, poster, or computer presentation related to the assignment or project. I think this is a great way of bringing the motivation out of the student allowing them to utilize their own creativity. Another may be role playing or assignments in the form of a job/work force simulation.

This could allow students to experience a higher simulated position of authority through work assignments. Professor Kathleen McKinney states that “Knowing what background your students bring to class and starting the course at an appropriate level can increase students’ success and, thus, positive feelings they have about your subject matter. ” (http://people. ucsc. edu/~gwells/Files/Courses_Folder/documents/McKinneyMotivation. pdf). Another great way to foster this is environment and one of my favorites.

“Giving your students options can be as simple as letting them pick their lab partners or select from alternate assignments, or as complex as “contract teaching” wherein students can determine their own grading scale, due dates and assignments. ” (Kurvink, 1993 Reeve and Hyungshim, 2006). In Conclusion, it is truly important for not just the student to understand the importance of motivation, but the teacher as well. As I stated earlier, fostering intrinsic and extrinsic motivation is a two way street between the teacher and student. A student who understands what drives him/her to learn will only enhance the learning capability and desire for academic goals.

The teacher who tailors the educational platform around the motivational factors will receive his/her desired effect of what is being taught. We are driven every day in life and yet the challenges will always encounter us. Sometimes those challenges are small and require very little effort to overcome and some are big, like storms. And I believe at the end of the day, it is the motivational drive within that will defeat that storm like challenge. Ultimately, it is what will define the course of my actions in pursuit of my academic goals.