Motivation is increasingly researched as a key ingredient in student achievement

2 Oct

Moi wrote in It’s the culture and the values, stupid:

Every week in the Seattle Stranger there is a column I, Anonymous , which gives one reader the chance to rant anonymously about any topic or person that has provoked such a reaction that venting and a good old fashion rant is necessary. Sometimes, the rants are poetic or touching. Most of the time, they are just plain hilarious. This is a recent rant, which is from a teacher, not an educator

I say hello with a big smile every morning as you shuffle in the door, but I secretly seethe with hatred for almost each and every one of you. Your stupidity and willful ignorance know no bounds. I have seen a lot of morons in my 10 years of teaching high school, but you guys take the cake. Your intellectual curiosity is nonexistent, your critical thinking skills are on par with that of a head trauma victim, and for a group of people who have never accomplished anything in their lives, you sure have a magnified sense of entitlement. I often wonder if your parents still wipe your asses for you, because you certainly don’t seem to be able to do anything on your own.
A handful of you are nice, sweet kids. That small group will go on and live a joyful and intellectual life filled with love, adventure, and discovery. The vast majority of you useless fuckwits will waste your life and follow in the footsteps of your equally pathetic parents. Enjoy your future of wage slavery and lower-middle-class banality.
Amazing how teachers are blamed for the state of education in this country. Look what you give us to work with. I am done trying to teach the unteachable.

Moi doesn’t blame most teachers for the state of education in this country, but puts the blame on the culture and the unprepared and disengaged parents that culture has produced. Moi also blames a culture of moral relativism as well which says there really are no preferred options. There are no boundaries, I can do what I feel is right for ME.

Moi wrote about student motivation in Research papers: Student Motivation: An Overlooked Piece of School Reform:

CEP’s report is Student Motivation: School Reform’s Missing Ingredient.

Here is the press release:

Student Motivation: School Reform’s Missing Ingredient

CEP Report Summarizes Research on Understanding, Spurring Motivation

WASHINGTON, D.C. – May 22, 2012 – A series of papers by the Center on Education Policy (CEP) underscores the need for teachers, schools, parents and communities to pay more attention to the role of student motivation in school reform. While there is no single strategy that works to motivate all students, or even the same student in all contexts, the many different sources reviewed by CEP suggest various approaches that can help improve student motivation, the report finds.

For example, programs that tailor support to individual students who are at risk of losing motivation, that foster “college-going” cultures in middle and high schools, or that partner wit low-income parents to create more stimulating home learning environments can increase motivation, the report notes, but only if they incorporate factors that research has shown to be effective.

The CEP report, Student Motivation—An Overlooked Piece of School Reform, pulls together findings about student motivation from decades of major research conducted by scholars, organizations, and practitioners. The six accompanying background papers examine a range of themes and approaches, from the motivational power of video games and social media to the promise and pitfalls of paying students for good grades. Each paper covers one of these six broad topics….

Educational Testing Service has produced a report which also looks at student motivation.

Here is the press release from the Educational Testing Service:

ETS Study of Higher Education Outcomes Assessments Shows Student Motivation Has Significant Impact on Results


Princeton, N.J. (September 25, 2012) —

With increasing pressure for accountability in higher education, outcomes assessments have been an important resource in evaluating learning and informing policy. Today, a report produced by ETS researchers titled “Measuring Learning Outcomes in Higher Education: Motivation Matters” provides evidence that simply modifying the pre-test instructions to increase motivation has a significant impact on scores on a commonly used higher education outcomes assessment, the ETS® Proficiency Profile. The report has been accepted for publication in the journal, Educational Researcher.

“The findings in this report provide institutions with strong empirical evidence that motivation matters. The report also demonstrates various practical strategies that, at low cost, could improve student performance by increasing motivation,” said David Payne, Chief Operating Officer of the Higher Education Division at ETS.  “The ETS Proficiency Profile has an established history of measuring program effectiveness and assessing student proficiency in core academic skill areas through its multiple choice format.”

The key findings in the report include evidence that

  • motivation has a statistically significant and substantial impact on scores,
  • motivational strategies used in this study are effective in improving students’ motivation and test scores, and
  • conclusions about college learning gains (value-added learning) could change dramatically depending on the levels of motivation of the test takers and  the format of the test (i.e., multiple-choice or constructed-response).

“Prior to this study, there was little empirical evidence supporting the claim that motivation matters in the use of standardized, general outcomes assessments,” said Ou Lydia Liu, Research Scientist at ETS and Project Director of this study. “Policymakers, in particular, will find value in the results of this report because it demonstrates how prior research that reported limited college learning likely underestimated student performance by not considering the low motivation of some students in taking low-stakes tests. With the implementation of motivational strategies used in this report, institutions are likely to see more accurate and higher estimates of their students’ performance.”

For some time, researchers, institutional administrators and policy makers have questioned the role of motivation on outcomes assessments. This study has identified the magnitude of effect of motivation on test scores and provided practical strategies that institutions can use to boost student performance.

To read the executive summary for the report, visit

About ETS

At ETS, we advance quality and equity in education for people worldwide by creating assessments based on rigorous research. ETS serves individuals, educational institutions and government agencies by providing customized solutions for teacher certification, English language learning, and elementary, secondary and post-secondary education, as well as conducting education research, analysis and policy studies. Founded as a nonprofit in 1947, ETS develops, administers and scores more than 50 million tests annually — including the ETS Proficiency Profile, the TOEFL® and TOEIC® tests, the GRE® tests and The Praxis Series™ assessments — in more than 180 countries, at over 9,000 locations worldwide.

See, Study: Lack of Motivation Has Impact on Testing Accuracy


Measuring Learning Outcomes in Higher Education: Motivation Matters

Executive Summary

Ou Lydia Liu, Brent Bridgeman, & Rachel Adler

Educational Testing Service                                                       

Moi often says education is a partnership between the student, the teacher(s) and parent(s). All parties in the partnership must share the load. The student has to arrive at school ready to learn. The parent has to set boundaries, encourage, and provide support. Teachers must be knowledgeable in their subject area and proficient in transmitting that knowledge to students. All must participate and fulfill their role in the education process.


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2 Responses to “Motivation is increasingly researched as a key ingredient in student achievement”


  1. Study: Bored students may be stressed rather than bored « drwilda - October 14, 2012

    […] Moi doesn’t blame most teachers for the state of education in this country, but puts the blame on the culture and the unprepared and disengaged parents that culture has produced. Moi also blames a culture of moral relativism as well which says there really are no preferred options. There are no boundaries, I can do what I feel is right for ME.… […]

  2. Report: Motivation and study key elements is math learning « drwilda - January 1, 2013

    […] See, Motivation is increasingly researched as a key ingredient in student achievement… […]

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