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Motivating Your Students to Learn


List student needs which may impact motivation to learn ... Color-code boxes with a highlighter to relate topics. Hints for Verbal Learners ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Motivating Your Students to Learn

Motivating Your Students to Learn
  • Steven R. Abel, Pharm.D., FASHP
  • Assistant Dean for Clinical Programs Bucke
    Professor and Head
  • Department of Pharmacy Practice
  • Purdue University School of Pharmacy

  • List student needs which may impact motivation to
  • Describe key concepts that impact student
    motivation to learn
  • Recommend approaches to motivate the unmotivated
  • Identify issues and opportunities with lecturing

Your Motivation????
  • To go to Pharmacy School
  • To go (or not go) to class
  • To pursue postgraduate training
  • To participate in the teaching certificate
  • To attend todays presentation

Group Exercise
  • How Would You Motivate Students To . . .

Things to Consider
  • Who is your student?
  • What approaches would you use?
  • What will be your metric(s) to monitor and
    document success?

Document their clinical interventions in an
internet-based database, which is a required
activity for all students. Time is not routinely
allocated for this task during rotations, and
students know that there is a cash reward for the
most interventions. Last, the University
collects and reports information regarding its
engagement impact in various venues, including
the provision of patient care.
Take advantage of opportunities to gain
introductory pharmacy practice experience
(without pay), because it will help them as they
matriculate through the curriculum
Become involved in student organizations because
it will serve them well to be able to demonstrate
active organizational membership/leadership as
they progress through the curriculum and enter
into the working world
Comply with institutional prescribing guidelines
for atorvastatin despite the fact that the
published studies support the use of simvastatin
for a particular patient
Take their medications despite the presence of
two silent diseases that have not adversely
impacted the patients life hypertension and
Make the most out of a critical care rotation,
their last clerkship experience, when the student
has accepted a job in a chain community pharmacy,
has minimal hospital experience, and will NEVER
be a critical care pharmacist
Group Reports
Additional Motivational Challenges - How Would
You Motivate Your Students . . .
  • Through a lecture on GERD
  • In a pharmacokinetics course
  • In a journal club discussion
  • In a drug information clerkship
  • To write ANOTHER care plan
  • In whatever else you might imagine!!

Remember . . .
  • Your students are not just pharmacy students in a
    classroom or on clerkship
  • Your students are everyone you teach
  • Sometimes your students include your boss!

Reflect on how your favorite professors . .
.How did they motivate you to learn?
Motivation Theory
  • Learning and memory are tied to motivation and
    method of teaching
  • Learning for students is continuous
  • Campus hot-spots
  • Least expensive groceries, Den Pop
  • Teachers
  • Could (?should) serve as learning facilitators
  • Cant learn for your students
  • Cant stop your students from learning
  • Must motivate students toward course goals
  • Increase value of learning
  • Link coursework to student motives
  • Shaped by socialization at home
  • Shaped by socialization in school
  • Shaped by experiences

Student Needs
  • Basic needs (food, water, sleep)
  • Security
  • Instilling fear is counterproductive
  • Identify and resolve causes of insecurity
  • Emphasize the positive
  • Belonging
  • Value as a group member
  • Value as a human being
  • Approval and self-esteem
  • Praise
  • For even small accomplishments
  • Do not trivialize praise (be specific)
  • Structure
  • Syllabus
  • Simple, clear instructions for completing tasks
  • Structured plan of action for each

Student Needs
  • Approval and self-esteem (cont.)
  • Reminders
  • Past successes
  • Future goals
  • Perhaps track in class by individually in journal
  • Portfolio
  • Self-actualization
  • Create anticipation
  • Preview subjects
  • Use trailers to motivate students to complete
    readings or attend class
  • Creative structure
  • Role play
  • Game shows
  • Teach other than via the norm

Views on Motivating Students
Motivating Students to Learn
  • Begin where the students are
  • Identify interest level on subject
  • Identify previous knowledge and incorporate that
    into teaching
  • Non-graded assignment during week 1
  • Frequent short assignments
  • Review transcripts, CV, etc.
  • Review work examples

Motivating Students to Learn
  • Establish relevance of material/course
  • Detail regarding importance
  • Personalize examples of how information is useful
    related to major, career, life
  • Relate course material to student interest
  • Information links personal journals, group
    projects, linkage posters
  • Show interest/enthusiasm for course content
  • Create interest through novelty, variety,

Motivating Students to Learn
  • Give students skills/knowledge to do well in
  • Orient to course
  • Mini-lecture on key component
  • Hold outside review sessions
  • Evaluate course
  • Involve students in course planning
  • Determine topics of greatest interest/value
  • Include optional or alternative units that focus
    on student interest
  • Provide for varying learning styles

Motivating Students to Learn
  • Arrange learning tasks appropriate for student
  • Range of difficulty in assignments, exams
  • Evaluate to show students what they have learned,
    not just what they dont know
  • Challenge students with stimulating activities
  • Set up student panels or identify course
  • Use classroom debates/discussions
  • Create opportunities for role playing
  • e.g., personnel scenarios, medication safety, WHS
  • Oral presentations
  • Case studies/simulated techniques

Motivating Students to Learn
  • Challenge students with stimulating assignments
  • Give provocative assignments
  • Do assignments for real world clients
  • Give students field experience assignments
  • Give assignments typical of the field
  • Assign independent research projects
  • Assign analysis of an essay/article
  • Role play
  • Give exercises for problem visualization/approxima

Motivating Students to Learn
  • Use test questions similar to those from homework
  • Prepare students for challenging test questions
  • Ask specific questions
  • Balance the difficulty of test items
  • Include an extra-credit problem to write a
  • Hand out study and review questions before the
  • Hold review sessions before the exam
  • Permit students to bring one page of notes to the
  • Give two or more midterms and have the first one
  • Distribute answers to prior exams
  • Give more quizzes than count

Motivating Students to Learn
  • Reward students
  • Praise
  • Positive comments
  • Promptly return assignments, texts
  • Recognize sincere effort
  • Focus on continued student improvement
  • Apply the Discovery method
  • Use students curiosity
  • Encourage student initiative by leaving gaps
  • Draw attention to importance of gaps
  • Pose questions that encourage analysis,
    problem-solving, creative thinking
  • Encourage students to critique own work

Motivating Students to Learn
  • Promote teacher-student interactions
  • Develop positive relationships with students
  • Student feelings about teacher can help or hinder
  • Keep open communication channels
  • Respect your students and behave as if you do
  • Encourage questions or comments
  • Individualize instruction
  • Be available for students
  • Personalize interactions
  • Be sure you have interpreted student needs/issues

Learning Styles
Group Exercise Highest Retention Rate the
following from lowest to highest retention
  • Teach others/immediately apply
  • Discussion group
  • Demonstration
  • Lecture
  • Audiovisual
  • Reading
  • Practice by doing

Highest Retention
  • Lecture 5
  • Reading 10
  • Audiovisual 20
  • Demonstration 30
  • Discussion group 50
  • Practice by doing 75
  • Teach others/immediately apply 90

Active and Reflective
  • Active and reflective learners
  • Active learners retain and understand information
    by doing something active with it, such as
    discussion, application
  • Reflective learners prefer to think about it
    quietly first
  • Lets try it out active
  • Lets think it through reflective
  • Active learners like group work
  • Sitting through lectures and taking notes is
    particularly difficult for active learners

Hints for Active Learners
  • With lecture-driven courses
  • Form a study group
  • Require participants to take turns asking
    questions, explaining topics
  • Work with others
  • Find ways to apply information

Hints for Reflective Learners
  • With lecture-drive courses
  • Stop periodically to read/review information
  • Do not simply read or memorize material
  • Think of questions/application of material
  • Write short summaries of readings or notes in
    your own words

Sensing and Intuitive
  • Sensing and intuitive learners
  • Sensing learners like learning facts
  • Intuitive learners prefer discovering
    possibilities and relationships
  • Sensors
  • Like problem-solving
  • Dislike complications and surprises
  • Resent being tested on material that has not been
    explicitly covered in class
  • Are patient with details, memorizing facts,
    hands-on laboratory work
  • Resent courses with lack of real-world connect
  • Are studying to become pharmacists
  • Intuitors
  • Like innovation and dislike repetition,
    memorization, plug and chug
  • More efficiently grasp new concepts
  • Are more comfortable with abstract and
    mathematical information

Hints for Sensing Learners
  • Connect to real world
  • Ask for specific examples of application of
    learned information to practice
  • If sufficient examples are not provided, speak
    with peers to determine the same

Hints for Intuitive Learners
  • Intuitors like memorization and rote substitution
    in formulas
  • YOU may be bored
  • Ask the instructor for interpretations or
    practice-based connections
  • Be cautious of careless mistakes, especially on
  • Read the entire question before you answer

Visual and Verbal
  • Visual learners remember what they see
  • Pictures, diagrams, flow charts, time lines,
    films, demonstrations
  • Verbal learners remember more from words
  • Written, spoken explanations
  • Most college classes present little visual
  • e.g. Pseudomonas eye

Hints for Visual Learners
  • Find diagrams, sketches, schematics, photographs,
    flow charts, other visual representation of
    course material that will cement learning
  • Prepare a concept map
  • Link key points, enclosing them in boxes,
    circles, drawing lines/arrows between concepts to
    show connections
  • Color-code boxes with a highlighter to relate

Hints for Verbal Learners
  • Write summaries or outlines of course material in
    your own words
  • Work in groups

Sequential and Global
  • Sequential learners
  • Gain understanding in linear steps, a logical
    building process
  • Follow logical, stepwise paths to find solutions
  • Global learners
  • Learn in large jumps, without seeing evident
    connection until they get it
  • May be able to solve complex problems but have
    difficult explaining how they achieved the end

Hints for Sequential Learners
  • Most college courses are taught in sequential
  • If lecturers miss steps, then ask to have those
    filled in
  • Try to relate topics to things you already know,
    to enhance your understanding of the topic

Hints for Global Learners
  • Recognize that you function differently from most
    of your classmates
  • Read the chapter first, to get an overview
  • Immerse yourself in individual subjects and
    relate them to things that you know
  • Dont lose your confidence in your ability to
    understand information and its relationship to
    other curricular content

Team Learning
  • Teamwork
  • Assignments are often individual
  • Increase teamwork
  • Many students resist teamwork because they can
    perform better themselves
  • Students should evaluate peer group members at
    least twice, early-mid project and at the end
  • Should be fun
  • Celebrate success

Environmental Learning Factors
  • Kinesthetic
  • Some students LOVE to move as they learn
  • Mobility
  • Humans body is built to move
  • Have students take short breaks every 20-30
  • Research has shown that it takes 30 seconds to
    rest and recharge the brain

Five Key Dimensions of Student-Professor
Five Key Dimensions of Student-Professor
Teaching as a Catalyst for Learning
  • Teacher as technician
  • Structure coursework to review previous work,
    preview todays work, teach todays work,
    practice todays work, review todays work,
    preview tomorrows work (creates intrigue)
  • Seek precise examples for key points
  • Emphasize value of new information by linking it
    to previous knowledge or personal experiences
  • Improvise

Teaching as a Catalyst for Learning
  • Teacher as technician (cont.)
  • Give students breathing space
  • Allow students to
  • Ask questions
  • Answer questions
  • Share personal experiences
  • Be sensitive to student learning patterns

Teaching as a Catalyst for Learning
  • Teacher as role model
  • Share personal experiences related to subject
  • Demonstrate passion for subject matter and
  • Demonstrate relevance of material
  • Show students alternative ways to approach course
  • Be human

Motivating the Unmotivated
  • Helpful hints
  • Students are increasingly older
  • Apprehensive about traditional classrooms
  • Perceive themselves outsiders when they consider
    the teachers world
  • Uncomfortable with formality
  • Lack study skills
  • Struggling to balance life demands and college
    (at all ages)

On Lecturing . . .
  • DO NOT lecture on information which is printed
    and/or otherwise available to students
  • DO NOT lecture on information which is printed
    and/or otherwise available to students
  • DO NOT lecture on information which is printed
    and/or otherwise available to students

Lecturing Tips
  • Effectiveness
  • Good at imparting knowledge
  • Retention favors discussion
  • May be more current than textbooks
  • Information can be adapted and/or summarized
  • Enthusiasm of lecturer impacts learning and
    student motivation
  • Inject something that excites you into your

Improving Lectures
  • Attention span is limited
  • Increases from beginning to 10 minutes into
    lecture, then declines
  • Variation increases effectiveness
  • Pitch
  • Intensity
  • Lecture pace
  • Visual cues
  • Gestures
  • Facial expressions
  • Movements
  • Use/demonstration via AV media

  • Students perceive two purposes for notes
  • Improved recall
  • External storage of concepts which may be needed
    later (e.g., tests)
  • Taking notes improves memory
  • DO NOT provide complete handouts
  • Encourage students to take fewer notes but on key

Lecture Organization
  • Introduction
  • Emphasize gaps in students existing knowledge
  • Begin with case example requiring application of
    key lecture concepts
  • Body
  • Beware of overload
  • Provide periodic summaries
  • Ask for questions, but really ask
  • Conclusion
  • Ask for a verbal student summary
  • Ask for written questions or comments but be
    prepared to provide follow-up

What About Grades?
  • For whatever reasons, grades are important to
  • Grades unlock many doors (e.g., Pharmacy School,
    Graduate School, etc.)
  • Motivate student study toward grade versus
  • Student performance increases with understanding
    that failure is due to lack of effort versus
    ability and setting reasonable standards for
  • Grades as a threat may produce avoidance versus

So, Now How Would You Motivate Your Students . . .
In Conclusion
  • Establish, specific, challenging goals and
    expectations for class and course
  • Syllabus
  • Learning objectives
  • Lecture to augment reading
  • Help students develop a plan of action
  • Student awareness is imperative for strategic
  • Apply knowledge
  • Have student record progress toward goals and