Motivation is “the act or process of giving someone a reason for doing something” (Merriam Webster Online). There are two different motivational patterns, intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation comes from desire within the learner where there are no external factors. Extrinsic motivation is the individual is being influenced by an outside factor.

There are three components of motivation; activation, persistence, and intensity. Activation is when the individual takes the first step towards achieving their goal. Persistance is a committed effort the individual exerts in working towards their goal. Intensity is the energy and process the individual applies to achieve their desired goal.

According to Wlodkowski there are four factors that affect an adult learner’s motivation to learn. They are; establishing inclusion, developing a positive attitude, enhancing meaning, and engendering competence. Establishing inclusion, is awareness that the learner and the instructor are a part of the learning environment and that they must stay connected in this environment. Developing a positive attitude, is creating a positive attitude towards the learning experience. Enhancing meaning, is engaging the learner in challenging learning activities so that learning is related to learning goals or outcomes. Engendering competence, is developing an understanding in which learners are motivated to learn if they assign value to it

Research has shown that the learner’s motivation is significantly impacted by the instructor’s instructional methods. And the instructor can stimulate motivation by engaging and challenging the learner by using effective instructional strategies.

There are many theories that examine motivation in the adult learner. Examples are the needs theory, cognitive theory, goal theory, humanistic theory, reactance theory, equity theory, behavioral theory, social learning theory, and the attribution theory.

Knowles introduced a learning theory that has six assumptions related to motivating the adult learner. These are, “the need to know, foundation, self-concept, readiness, orientation, and motivation” (Wikipedia).

This topic is vast and has many components related to it in relation to adult education.As an adult educator I need to “cultivate thinking skills, stimulate interest in the subject, and motivate students to learn” (Weimer). This can be accomplished by utilizing effective instructional strategies to keep the learner engaged while challenging them to a higher level of thinking.

There are multiple barriers to adult motivation in the learning environment. The adult learner has many responsibilities to balance. Barriers to motivation includes lack of time, money, and confidence. They have scheduling conflicts such as child care and transportation issues.

The instructor has a role in facilitating the motivation of the adult learner. The instructor must create a positive learning environment and a sense of belonging for the learners. For the intrinsic motivation the instructor must explain relevance of the content, while allowing learner input into learning activities and by “creating and maintaining curiosity” (Motivation to Learn: An Overview). For the extrinsic motivation the instructor must “provide clear expectations” (Motivation to Learn: An Overview), while providing constructive feedback, offering rewards and provide examples.

This has been a very rewarding and insightful assignment for me to complete. I have had experience in the past with unmotivated learners and at times struggled withattempting to engage and motivate them. Due to the knowledge that I have gained from this journal entry I will be much better at facilitating and motivating the learners in my class.

I am going to be teaching two semesters in November and am looking forward to increasing the instructional strategies that I use in the sessions. I have always used activities in my session but feel that I have increased my knowledge base to keep the learners more engaged, motivated and to a higher level of thinking.

Barkley, Elizabeth F., (2010) Student Engagement Techniques A Handbook for College

Huitt, W., (2011). Motivation to learn: An overview. Educational Psychology Interactive. Valdosta, GA: Valdosta State University. Retrieved from the World Wide Web on October 7, 2013,

Merriam-Webster Online, Retrieved from the World Wide Web, on October 7, 2013,

McTighe, Jay, Wiggins, Grant, (2013) Essential Question Opening Doors to Student

Recklies, Dagmar, Motivation-Basic Concepts and Theories, Retrieved from the World
Wide Web on October 7, 2013,

Weimer, Maryellen, Defining Teaching Effectiveness (2013), Retrieved from the World
Wide Web on October 7, 2013,

Wikipedia, Andragogy, Retrieved from the World Wide Web on October 7, 2013,

Wikipedia, Genpsych-sjrstate, Components of Motivation, Retrieved from the World
Wide Web on October 7, 2013,

Wlodkowski, Raymond, Website, Retrieved from the World Wide Web on October 7,

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