Our Students as Learners

Motivational & Affective Factors

When we think about the courses that we teach in our disciplines, we tend to focus on concepts and intellectual skills that we want students to develop. In other words, we think about our classroom primarily as an intellectual space where students acquire knowledge. However, the research on learning suggests that student emotions and motivations play an important role in the learning process. In brief, this aspect of learning focuses on how learners feel about their learning and the course environment.

Motivations and attitudes have been extensively studied in educational psychology. As you can see from the student videos, their motivations, attitudes and feelings influence their learning experience. Think about your students: What motivations do your students bring to the course? Are they enthusiastic about learning? Do they think they can do well in the course?