Happy Learners = Contented Instructional Designers 🙂

What is Motivation?

Before introducing the ARCS model, I would like to define the term motivation. While, Motivation is defined in several different ways, I prefer to define it as the urge to reduce the sense of discomfort that comes with an unfulfilled desire. I like this definition is because it enables us to understand all kinds of motivation, including learner motivation.

What is Learner Motivation?

Learner motivation is the urge to learn. This concept isn’t easy to deconstruct. Why? Well, learner motivation yields results only when the urge to learn is be sustained throughout the period of study. Thus, learning motivation isn’t just about starting to learn, but also about continuing to learn until the learning is complete.

Our Motivational Responsibilities

As designers of learning interventions, we are responsible for:

  • generating the initial urge to learn
  • sustaining the urge all through the intervention

Keller’s ARCS Model for Learner Motivation

ARCS, the model of learner motivation given by John Keller, generates as well as sustains the urge to learn. While a structural defect in the design of a course or training program could render it less effective for the learner, the absence of learner motivation would result in learner apathy toward the program, rendering it completely useless. This would be far worse for the learner’s morale.

The ARCS Model expands as follows:

A: (Gain) Attention
R: (Build) Relevance
C: (Instill) Confidence
S: (Ensure) Satisfaction

The model provides methods to achieve each of the four. Read more about the ARCS model at the following links:

Image Credits: Photo by Ben White on Unsplash