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Why is this important?

Attention, relevance, confidence, and satisfaction (the ARCS) are keys to student motivation, according to author John Keller.

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Try these strategies:

Attention

How can your class engage and keep students’ interest?
  • Find ways to hook your students into the material, such as posting interesting visual examples or startling facts.
  • Ask a question or pose a problem, like a mystery that needs solving. Students’ curiosity and desire for an answer will help sustain their attention.
  • Mix it up

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  • : vary the activities, visuals, and pacing of each module.

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Relevance

How can your class fit what students want and need

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?
  • Help students set goals that align with the skills they are

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  • developing in class, such as getting and keeping a job.
  • Raise students’ awareness about their learning styles and the ways they learn best.

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  • Ex: Do they work most efficiently with in-class activities that are cooperative, competitive, or individual?

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  • Connect new material with information or skills that students already know

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Confidence

How can students feel successful even when

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a task is difficult?
  • Clarify what students are going to learn and how

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  • to measure success.

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  • Showing work from

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  • past students and

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  • using rubrics

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  • are excellent ways to do this.
  • Build skill difficulty incrementally and allow for success at every stage. This can be as simple as an in-class task that focuses on developing

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  • skill in one procedure.
  • Allow students some control over their learning. Let students choose some projects or contribute questions to an upcoming test

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  • .

Satisfaction

How can students’ satisfaction with their work spur even more learning

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  • Tie projects into real-life, professional contexts and inspire them further by showing them what expert artists and designers

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  • .
  • Use positive feedback and rewards along with constructive criticism. Try sandwiching any negative feedback between positive comments.
  • Make sure that grading is fair and consistent and check in with students individually

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  • throughout the semester to avoid unpleasant surprises at the end. Using Easy Grade Pro can help you track student progress and provide them clear, official results.

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