A quote by famous American graphic designer and an Oscar-winning filmmaker reads, “I just want to make beautiful things even if nobody cares.” This simple statement beautifully captures the essence of one of the most important principles which governs success in any field, self-motivation and loving what you do. It has often been said that intrinsic motivation towards a goal induces creative thinking and generation of out-of-the-box ideas, as opposed to external motivation through fear, reward, or other means which quite often are only enough to get the bare minimum out of individuals. Inculcating creativity and imagination in students must be a priority of the education system.

As Albert Einstein often said, “Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think.” According to him, developing one’s imagination was much more important than simply gaining knowledge. Therefore, teaching students by engaging them in such a way that they fall in love with learning and develop a zeal to learn within themselves is a superior way to educate them than simply instruction-based teaching. Especially in these days of the pandemic, when owing to the nationwide shutdown of educational institutions most learning activities have gone remote through online teaching via mobile teacher apps, keeping students motivated is indispensable for helping them in achieving their learning goals. In this article, we discuss several ways in which educators and parents can inculcate intrinsic motivation in the students.

Give your students the freedom and a sense of conscious choice-

Your aim should be to involve the student in the learning process. The shift towards online teaching has provided the impetus to active learning as opposed to instruction-based teaching strategies which were being employed in traditional offline classrooms for a long time. When a student is made an active participant in the learning process through encouragement for exercising conscious choice, he is bound to get a better understanding and develop an interest in his education.

Student Collaboration and Peer Learning-

A tried and tested practice that generates intrinsic motivation is group projects. Students have a successful and enjoyable time learning from their peers as they have a great understanding of each other’s strengths, weaknesses and learning behavior. Online platforms provide a great way for student collaboration activities. Some of the best apps to teach online provide features like student chat, discussion boards, and likewise which come in handy for involvement in group activities. Collaboration between peers helps inculcate important values in them like synergy, coordination, teamwork, and motivation for excelling at a task as a group.

Set a challenging goal-

Consistently pushing ourselves and succeeding at a goal-achieving which at one time seemed improbable, gives motivation to most people. Biting off more than you can chew, can sometimes lead individuals towards achieving extraordinary targets. Therefore, you should set a goal that is not too easy for the student as it would inevitably make them complacent, uninspired and they will slack off. Instead, give them at least a mildly challenging task that requires them to keep their wits about them and come up with creative solutions for achieving their goal which will undoubtedly be a great source of self-motivation.

Reward system needs to be scrutinized-

Providing direct incentives to students works well for getting your students to fulfill clear-cut and uncomplicated tasks. For instance- do these hundred sums efficiently and you get a golden star. While this approach works well in making students fulfill straightforward tasks, it is futile for complex and intellectually demanding learning activities that demand high creativity and a divergent thought process. The point is, that you as a teacher, need to thoroughly scrutinize and reinvent the system of giving incentives to come up with ways of providing intrinsic motivation and inculcate genuine interest for the subject, in your students.

Avoid using the carrot and the stick-

Positive motivation trumps negative motivation always. Fear leaves no room for students to develop creativity, a genuine understanding, and interest in them regarding the subject. Thus, motivating through fear generally does more harm and good to student learning and out-of-the-box thinking, and hence a teacher must steer clear of it.

These are some ways in which intrinsic motivation may be developed in a student which is integral for achieving student learning outcomes.