Academic Motivation: Factors And Strategies

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According to Usher and Morris (2012), the cognitive process is a process to acquire information and knowledge which are added to the previous beliefs and thoughts. The development of cognitive processes is mostly depending on how the support it receives from the surrounding environment. They found that academic motivation is an essential element in the development of student education. Academic motivation has a magic effect on the educational environment as motivation increases cognitive processing. Researchers have asked through their studies about what is the secret behind people continuing their work?, why do people work and study?. Motivation answers these questions since it is a process that helps people to achieve their goals. This research will discuss how does academic motivation affects academic outcomes, comparison between external and internal factors, and strategies for increasing academic motivation.

How does academic motivation affect the academic outcome?

During the past several decades, studies have steadily examined the motivation of student behavior, providing evidence of a strong relationship between student motivation and their academic functioning (Wentzel,1999). Recognized the importance of academic motivation and ways to increase student motivation and promoting it (Mcloah,2002). Where discusses that now lack of motivation not only leads to disengagement with school but to underachievement and dropping out in general (Azzam,2007). Such studies show how academic motivation is related to its outcome and how important it is for schools to promote motivation among students.

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The relationship between motivation and academic functioning is evident in which summarizes the components found to impact student learning, including beliefsperception, goals, values, and internal versus external motivation (Wlgfield&Wentzwl,2007). Belief and perception.

Factors of academic motivation

Academic motivation can be defined as the factors that prompt a person to attend school or college and get a degree. Also, it is a key determinant of academic accomplishment and performance (Clark, M. H., & Schroth, C. A. (2010)). There are internal and external factors of academic motivation and the main difference between them is that extrinsic motivation arises from outside of the individual, but intrinsic motivation arises from within.

The factors are considered as intrinsic motivation when behaviors are done out of pleasure or for sake of participating in and completing a task. It comes from an inner desire to achieve and there are no tangible rewards or incentives, but the only reward is from the inside. For example, the student goes to class because he finds it interesting and wants to learn more about a certain thing (Vallerand, R. J., Pelletier, L. G., Blais, M. R., Briere, N. M., Senecal, C., & Vallieres. (1992))

External factors of academic motivation occur when we are motivated to do an action to gain a reward. In this case, you engage in the action not because you enjoy it, but to get something in return. family expectations, teacher expectations, pleasing others, and money are examples of extrinsic motivation and involve proving one’s competence to another (Shia, M. R. (2013)).

Strategies for increasing academic motivation

After analyzing many studies about academic motivation we can observe that the teachers and the educators have the most effective role in increasing the level of academic motivation in students. Educators have a misconception about the best strategies of increasing the level of motivation towards studying in learners. Some methods that teachers use in classrooms to control and restrict students are actually affecting the students negatively. For example, teachers having excessive control over the classroom, extreme supervision, differentiating between students with punishments and rewards. However, there are many ways that can be sufficient in keeping the classroom under control while maintaining the motivational atmosphere in the classroom.

One approach is to improve the students’ self-efficacy by helping them believe in their abilities and skill while improving their weaknesses. This strategy increases the rate of success of any learner as shown in a study of the development of third-grade students in reading by applying CORI (concept-oriented Reading Instruction) which is a strategy that combines motivation support with strategical instructions in reading. The study conducted revealed that students who acquired the appropriate reading strategies increased their self-efficacy for reading (Guthrie et al., 2004). Applying this strategy can be with providing good opportunities for students to attempt in different fields. When the teacher acknowledges that the student has already mastered a certain skill, he/she should provide a more challenging activity for them to attempt. As a result of completing these tasks the learner’s self-efficacy will increase as the teacher complements them for their good work.

The second strategy is helping students set realistic goals. The teacher should regularly have private discussions with the students to discuss their long and short terms goals and observe their development over time. Discussing the interest of learners motivates them to achieve their desired goals. Constructive feedback encourages the student to work even harder and increase their efforts towards reaching their goals. The teacher can provide some activities to help students associate the process of learning with their long-term goals. Studies showed that the students’ participation in setting their own goals with assessing their development affects their progression when it comes to responsibility and independence (Rowell & Hong, 2013).

The environment or situations that the students are exposed to can influence their success. Thus, the next strategy will include providing a good and comfortable environment for learning. The teacher should be aware of the diversity in the classroom in terms of culture, language, learning disabilities, differences in personalities, and methods of learning to provide the best learning environment for all students. Furthermore, the teacher must consider that some students tend to be less motivated in curriculums that they may find difficult such as science. Therefore, providing a comfortable environment for learning can be achieved by engaging the students in the teaching process with cooperative learning strategies and problem-solving challenges. This can help students feel motivated while tackling these difficult subjects. Studies showed that using problem-solving methods in difficult courses can help the students be more motivated (Winstead, 2004).


To sum up, students who are academically motivated are curious and have the willingness to learn more knowledge and they believe that education is substantial in our life. Moreover, teachers playing an important role in motivating students academically by creating an encouraging, organized and effective environment. It may be that a student who is motivated and supported for learning is absolutely aware of achieving high academic outcomes and results. Basically, the keys to academic performance are the internal and external factors of academic motivation. However, the United Arab Emirates aimed to shed light on this topic in their community through many research studies. They have been done to predict, analyze the academic performance of students and identify the factors that motivate students to improve their academic performance in UAE. Also, it may be that since governmental jobs and careers are available to the Emirati nation this is an important external factor to Emirati students to motivate them to attend schools and universities. In UAE, there are differences between boys and girls on the motivation to learn, girls have a higher level of motivation to learn than boys, also the family size was associated such that large family size had lower levels of motivation comparison to small family size according to Vivian Khamis a; Samir Dukmak a; Hala Elhoweris, (2008). On the other hand, the age of students was not related to student’s academic motivation (Vivian Khamis a; Samir Dukmak a; Hala Elhoweris, 2008).


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