Motivation is an essential component for students in senior level education. It can be defined as a driving force, which induces students to act in a certain manner and this ensures sustainable growth of a student in the long run. According to a research, motivated students are more likely to be successful in education and other spheres of life. Hence, it is imperative to study the implications of motivational strategies and how they work and evaluate their effectiveness. Motivation can be studied by considering its two types: intrinsic and extrinsic. Students can be motivated intrinsically by letting them do something which is interesting and enjoyable. Sometimes intrinsic motivation is innate in students and the level of intrinsic motivation differs from students to students and varies with the work. While extrinsic motivation emphasises on rewards and is contingent upon outside influences (Forsyth and McMillan, 1991, Practical Proposals for Motivating Students).
Sometimes extrinsic motivation can diminish the internal drive to complete work as rewards can at times serve as discouraging rather than encouraging and that would undermine self-motivation and interest of learning new tasks and lessons. Since continuous dependence on external rewards, motivation towards academic and educational endeavours may become unstable. Hence, intrinsic motivation is vital for development and growth in students. Extrinsic motivation is also critical but without the internal desire of students, it would be difficult for the students to master the important lessons and thereby propel and excel in the academic sphere. Therefore, motivation in both forms act as a driving force in all stages of education and especially for senior level education (Ames, 1990).
To enhance motivation in students in the senior level of education, teachers play a pivotal role. This is a difficult task as understanding student psychology is arduous. It requires a lot of attention as all students is not motivated in the same way and thereby it becomes imperative to understand and cater to individual student needs. Most teachers lack the skills to guide students properly and thus fail to encourage students and bring out their true potential. Guidance of a teacher is very important to keep students motivated (Forsyth and McMillan, 1991, Practical Proposals for Motivating Students). However, it is very crucial to keep in mind that students should be allowed to take their decisions independently and have some choice and control over the issues related to academic. This will keep them involved and at the same time help in developing a strong sense of commitment within them (Ames, 1990).
The assignments given to the students should be clearly defined and the objective of the study should be properly illustrated to them. This would ensure that students are always engaged in their work and continuously motivated to fulfil their immediate goals. Moreover, it is vital for the students to understand the consequences of each and every action they take. In such a scenario, creating a safe environment for the students becomes a necessity. This will encourage students to boost their self confidence and help them to have faith in their abilities. At the senior level, the students should be provided with adequate scope for research and thus the students should be provided with available resources and an effective setting should be ensured that would guarantee that the students stay motivated for the entire senior educational level (Brophy, n.d.).
Senior level education requires that students are provided with practical and hands-on experiences. The curriculum should have scope not only for theoretical lessons but also practical lessons that would help an individual to understand the real life scenario. Motivation can also be enhanced by fostering friendly spirit of competition. However, the teachers should keep in mind that they don’t encourage comparison and divisions among the students that creates performance anxiety. Rewards and accolades can be an excellent source of motivation. Teachers should understand individual student needs to determine appropriate rewards for encouraging students (Angelo and Cross, 1993).
It is also important that the students feel important and valued (Gross, 1993). This could be ensured by giving them responsibility of handling vital jobs and this should act as a privilege rather than a burden. Teachers should develop an environment where students would be encouraged to work in groups. Social interaction among the students would motivate students and help build a strong team (Centre for Teaching and Learning, n. d.). This would help students in their future endeavours and train them to work in corporate settings. Balanced and fair team work should be emphasised on (Angelo and Cross, 1993). Senior level education puts a lot of strain on students and therefore proper encouragement and guidance by the elders becomes quite imperative. Students crave for recognition and praise. However, it is very crucial that the teachers select an appropriate method of appreciating the students. Most often teachers fail to do the same. The teacher can take up various strategies of rewarding the student and at the same time can motivate the student to attain the goals set (Forsyth and McMillan, 1991, What Theories of Motivation Say About Why Learners Learn).
One way of doing this is by sharing exemplary work done by students among the class members and also among other faculty and senior members. This would encourage the students to dedicate more time to not only academic lessons but also several other activities. Students overall personality development would be ensured. Proper motivation and guidance helps students to recognize their own strengths and weaknesses. Senior level education calls for huge amount of concentration and dedication and therefore teachers should be equally involved in the academic courses.