The purpose of this research was to identify if instructional techniques that have been deemed influential positively influence student motivation. This research examined student motivation in the classroom, instructional strategies and alternative assessment promoting motivation.
To accomplish this, fifteen observations of six teachers were conducted. Teacher interviews and student surveys were also given. Throughout the course of the investigation, four major themes and several sub-themes emerged. The first theme was classroom atmosphere. Within this theme were two sub-themes of (a) focusing on student comfort in the classroom and (b) forging personal connections to the students. The second major theme was activity in the classroom. Within this theme were the sub-themes (a) focus on the pacing of the class, (b) use of multiple activities in the class and (c) use of random selection in the classroom for selecting student participants. The third major theme was connecting the material to the lives of the students. Within this theme are the sub-themes of (a) making connections in the curriculum to the lives of the students and (b) using discussions during class to make connections to student lives. The fourth major theme was the use of humor in the classroom to help provide opportunities for student motivation.
Improving student motivation levels would have many implications on the field of education. Through the course of our investigation, we have found that there are certain teaching strategies that seem to have a strong impact on the motivation of the students in the classroom. The major themes listed previously can be applied in almost any situation, grade level or subject area. The application of these strategies can be very effective for the teacher and rewarding for the students.