Motivation Design Principles

Motivation Design Principles

There are many different theories of student motivation, but they share some common themes. M-PLANS summarizes these common themes in five motivation design principles (MDPs) that can help teachers incorporate motivation supports more intentionally in their planning and instruction. The five motivation design principles are:

belonging

Belonging
Support feelings of relatedness and belonging among students and with teachers

confidence

Confidence
Support students’ confidence through instruction that includes clear expectations; challenging work that is calibrated to the knowledge, skills, and abilities of students; and informational and encouraging feedback

understanding

Learning Orientation
Emphasize learning and understanding and de-emphasize grades, competition, and social comparison

autonomy

Autonomy
Support students’ autonomy through opportunities for student decision making and direction

relevance

Relevance
Select personally relevant, interesting activities that provide opportunities for identification and active involvement

These design principles were developed based on a synthesis of prior research and theory. For more details about this work, please see: Linnenbrink-Garcia, L., Patall, E. A., & Pekrun, R. (2016). Adaptive Motivation and Emotion in Education: Research and Principles for Instructional Design. Policy Insights from the Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 3(2), 228–236.