Research says that about 70% of students enroll in college because they see the degrees as their ticket to a good job and a fat paycheck. And they are right because tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today. Unfortunately, not all of them graduate. According to ACT, about one-third of students in U.S. four-year public colleges and universities fail to return for their 2nd year. In public 2-year colleges, it is even worse: nearly half of first-year students don’t make it to a 2nd year.

“There are 3 things to remember about education. 1- motivation 2- motivation. 3- motivation.” (Terrell Bell former U.S. Secretary of Education)

Lack of motivation is identified as the #1 barrier to students’ success in college. Some of the symptoms are: arriving late to class or being absent, assignments turned in late or not at all, work done sloppily, offers of support ignored, and students not participating in class. Motivation is VERY important in college success, but you cannot really motivate someone else. It should be internally. We are here to support you, but you have to want to be here.

Motivation describes the wants or needs that direct behavior toward a goal. In addition to biological motives, motivations can be intrinsic (arising from internal factors) or extrinsic (arising from external factors). Intrinsically motivated behaviors are performed because of the sense of personal satisfaction that they bring (confidence, self-fulfillment, self-efficacy, etc.), while extrinsically motivated behaviors are performed in order to receive something from others (praise, grade, paycheck, recognition, etc.).

Think about why you are currently in college. Are you here because you enjoy learning and want to pursue an education to make yourself a better-rounded individual? If so, then you are intrinsically motivated. However, if you are only here because you want to satisfy the demands of your parents or other people, then your motivation is more extrinsic in nature.

Formula of Motivation

The study of human motivation explores why we do what we do. The formula is V  x  E = M

“V” stands for value. The benefits you believe you will obtain from seeking a college degree. What score is presently representing the value you are placing on obtaining a college degree? Choose a number from 0-10 where 0 represents no perceived value and 10 represents a very high perceived value. “E” stands for expectation. Expectation is determined by how likely you think it is that you can earn a college degree. Choose a number from 0-10 where 0 represents no expectation of success and 10 represents a high expectation. Multiplying your value score by your expectation score gives your level of motivation in college. To increase your motivation, you need to raise the value you place on college and the expectation you have of being successful.

What to Do

Using the formula of motivation, write about your level of motivation to be successful in college. Begin as follows:

The value I place on being successful in college is              (0-10) and my expectation of being successful in college is            (0-10). Multiplied together, this gives me an achievement motivation score of             (0-100).

Answer the following questions in your Discussion Post:

1. Tell us your score. Explain your score and identify specific actions you can do to raise it (or keep it high).  

2. Explain your internal and external motivations, tell us examples of each, and describe which one is more dominant in you.

Remember, dive deep. When you explore your motivation at a deep level, you improve your chances of having an important insight that can change your life for the better. So dive deep and discover what really motivates you!

Discussion Directions

Click “Reply” and post your  initial response. Then read through the other entries and reply directly to at least two. When you reply, ALWAYS type the name of the classmate you are responding to, and your name at the bottom of the message. Make sure to use proper grammar and punctuation in this college level course in all correspondence. Please avoid “text” or “twitter speak” when corresponding. 

Here are some tips for ensuring that you all get the most from the Discussion Board posts:

  • Submit initial post(s) early in the week, and subsequent responses to the posts of others at timely intervals throughout the duration of the discussion board post. The goal is to have a dynamic discussion around the topic for that given week.
  • Posts and responses should be thorough and thoughtful. Just posting an “I agree” or “Good ideas” will not be considered adequate. Support statements with examples, experiences, or references. Keep each post and response to one or two succinct paragraphs. Keep in mind that fellow students will be reading and responding to you, too.
  • Posts should be at 150 words or more. If a post does not meet the minimum word count, points will be deducted.
  • Make certain that all posts and responses address the question, problem, or situation as presented for discussion. This does not mean you should not expand upon the topic, but do not stray from the topic.
  • Discussions occur when there is dialogue; therefore, you need to build upon the posts and responses of other learners to create discussion threads. Make sure to revisit the discussion forum and respond (if necessary) to what other learners have posted to your initial responses.
  • When relevant, add to the discussion by including prior knowledge, work experiences, references, web sites, resources, etc. (giving credit when appropriate).

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