A blog by George Engel

Posts tagged “ARCS

Motivation and the ARCS Model

When I think of times that I have shown new technologies to teachers, I know of some that would try to use it immediately and others that would never try it. For example, recently I showed several teachers the power of a wiki. A few were excited and asked me questions about set up, embedding, and classroom activities. I was happy to show them. However, a couple of teacher present thought that the wiki is just a waste of time for their classes and did not want to take the time to learn how to use one.

These individuals were initially curious but had a hard time seeing the relevance of using a wiki in their classes. What they were currently doing worked for them. Their students were getting good results on state tests so they saw no need to invest time in new technologies for learning.

When considering Keller’s ARCS model for motivation, I can think of two parts of it, the relevance and the confidence, are the greatest hindrance to learning a new technology. As mentioned previously, many teacher see no need or relevance of new technologies when what they do works for them. Unfortunately, state assessments are built in such a way as to promote older teaching styles so new teaching technologies are not as relevant to these teachers. However, to address this, I would demonstrate quality student work for them. If they could see how well students do on wiki based assignments and discussion, they may see the relevance of the technology.

The second area, confidence, is another issue with learning a new technology. This is an old and new teacher problem. They have trouble learning new technology so they do not want to use it. For these individuals, I would work one-on-one with them to help them gain the confidence they need to understand how to use a wiki and other technologies. I find the area of confidence to be one of the greatest limiters of teachers when technology is involved.

With a rise in relevance and in confidence, I do believe the other motivational components of attention and satisfaction may grow as well.