In the last part, we discussed principal strategies to establish values. Today, we will talk about strategies to establish expectancies.
Align objectives, assessments, and instructional strategies
Objectives, assessments, and instructional strategies are integral components of a course. When these three are aligned, learning is supported. It means that the students know their goal, are given opportunities to practice and get feedback and are able to show their level of understanding. Students will also have a clear picture of what is expected of them. They will feel more confident and in control of their learning and grades.
Setting the appropriate level of challenge
Setting the appropriate level of challenge is crucial in motivating students. Challenges should be tough but attainable. Identifying this appropriate level might be difficult. To do that, we have to know who our students are. We have to carefully analyse their prior knowledge and experiences as well as their goals and future plans. A preassessment may be helpful in this scenario.
If the course or an assignment is at a level in which students do not expect to be successful with reasonable effort, they will not be motivated. On the other hand, if the course is too easy, they will think it is not worth their time to engage with it. So, it is important to set an appropriate level of challenge where students can flourish in their learning process.
Provide early success opportunities
In one of our earlier articles on expectancies, we said that past experiences influence expectations for future performances. Early success can build a sense of efficacy. This strategy is effective in high-risk courses or for students who come with anxiety for whatever reasons. For example, you can start with a small assignment that accounts for a small percentage of the final grade. Success in this assignment will boost the confidence of students before they deal with large projects.
Express your expectations
Students should be aware of the course goals and desired outcomes. They should be given a clear road map to achieve those goals. This will help them connect a course of action and the desired outcome that is more concrete and tangible. It will help create a more positive outcome expectancy. Teachers can help students to set realistic expectations by identifying areas where they might encounter difficulty. Instilling self-belief in them by communicating your confidence and expectations that they will tackle those challenges is also essential.
Proper feedback can have a powerful motivating effect as it provides information about progress towards a specific goal. Feedback is most effective when it is timely and constructive. Timely feedback will allow students to incorporate the suggestions as they go forward. Constructive feedback identifies strengths, weaknesses, and suggestions for future action.
Standards and criteria used to assess students' work should be fair. In a classroom, we can find students with different grades. If they perceive that their work is being evaluated differently from their peers or from time to time, their expectations for success may be compromised.
Provide effective study strategies
After a failure, students may not be able to identify ways in which they should appropriately change their study behaviours. So, it is important to discuss effective study strategies to give them alternatives to the behaviours that resulted in poor performance. This will help students adjust their expectations about successfully attaining their goals.
Through the last few articles, we discussed values and expectancies, the most important variables that underlie student motivation. We all know that motivation's influence on success cannot be understated. It drives the learning behaviour needed to achieve goals. We hope that our articles on motivation helped you understand all those factors in detail.
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