Why Intrinsic Motivation is Important
Alex Fiscus, MA – Educational Technology Coordinator
Here is a practical tip that is important for academic success: developing your intrinsic motivation! As the end of a class draws near, students may be experiencing burnout. As the “newness” of being a student in an online program wears off, students may start to lose motivation. Hence, students may (and most likely do!) have many other responsibilities competing for their time and attention, causing them to put coursework on the back burner. After all, this is where intrinsic motivation comes in.
“Intrinsic motivators include fascination with the subject, a sense of its relevance to life and the world, a sense of accomplishment in mastering it, and a sense of calling to it” (Vanderbilt University, 2016). Obviously, grades (and your degree at the end!) are nevertheless still important, but if grades or “just wanting a degree” are a student’s only motivators, it will be tough to stick with it when challenges arise.
Ask yourself these questions: Why do you want a degree? What are your goals? Are they reasonable? How is God using you in this educational opportunity? Similarly, how does each assignment and each course help you to achieve God’s purpose and your goals? What new things are you to learn, and how will that change you and others? What will happen if you don’t finish that paper (or course or program)? I encourage you to reflect on these questions and to continue developing your intrinsic motivators to help you push to finish a course well and move onto the next!
References – Vanderbilt University. (2016). Motivating students. Retrieved from
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