Lots of students face too many problems at their first year of education at universities: new culture that is inherent to one particular university only, new people, new rules, lack of participation in public activities, and more responsibility in some areas. All these changes may disturb students, frustrate their plans, and prevent achieving success; this is why it is crucially important to think about motivation and learning beforehand and create proper conditions for education.
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Very often, first-year students do not feel quite comfortable to start own business within a new university; numerous researches demonstrate that students’ enrolment into study that really captivates them and activities, which develop their talents – this is what makes successful students and good professionals in future.
Motivation and learning are considered to be the most important issues, which may help a first-year student transit into new university culture with its own peculiarities; teachers are those people, who should provide students with the necessary support from the very beginning in order to discern talents and abilities and develop them during students’ education.
There are lots of varieties of motivation; such motives as financial reward or desire to achieve success in the preferred spheres of life should help first-year students to make a good start in their student career.
Students should see and comprehend that they are becoming a significant part of something really great and important, something that may change their lives for ever, something that will help them make this world better. This is why the issues of motivation and learning should bother teachers, first of all. Some researches prove that when a student deals with the subjects he/she is really interesting at, he/she gets much more chances to become successful and amaze everyone with own level of knowledge and desire to learn more.
This is why Gavin Moodie (2006), an analyst at Griffith University of Queensland admits that “motivation for studying is an important part of student success.” If the chosen program turns out to be not that interesting from the very beginning, it is better not to be shy or afraid and change it for something more interesting and captivating.
At some universities, teachers come to the conclusion that their students are in need to develop their academic skills only and forget about the significance of socialization or communication with other students and staff (Ryan & Glenn 2004). Such approach may be effective in some types of universities, but still, it is better to concentrate on the development of different abilities of students and provide them with a chance to communicate and enlarge their spheres of interest.
Without any doubts, motivation is one of the most significant issues, which help students study at a proper level. This is why it is crucially important to pick out the best kind of motivation, taking into consideration students’ spheres of interest and their abilities. One of the first ideas of how to motivate students in learning is the possibility to get some financial rewards.
When students get rewards after the work done, they start enjoying the chosen activity and try to do more in order to achieve more next time. In the work about the varieties of motivation, Howe (1998) points out that “the most effective kind of learning is learning for its own sake.”
This is why the desire to achieve success is considered to be another motive to learn better and try to be good at several spheres simultaneously. It is necessary to stimulate students thinking about the ways of how to succeed and choosing the most appropriate way for improving own education.
For example, students may write down own goals on paper, re-read them, and add several points concerning how to achieve the goals set. Such activities will help to analyze and recognize why students want to study and what they want to get from their education (Oppenheimer 2001). If a student takes into consideration these two types of motivation, financial reward and personal success, the results of his/her study may be really awesome.
The results of motivation in learning may have both negative and positive outcomes. Even such motivation as financial reward can negatively influence students’ learning. When a student gets some reward, he/she may enjoy it for a long period of time and believe that such kind of reward is just what he/she needs.
It becomes unnecessary to think about possible improvement; this is why student’s learning cannot be developed further. This is why, in order not to be upset with such negative outcomes, tutors have to find out some other ways to motivate students with the same activity. For example, it is possible to mention that, next time, the same results will not be encouraged, but only some progress or regress will be analyzed. This point should attract the attention of many students and make them think about their future actions.
The results of motivation may be also positive. Students comprehend that their activities play a significant role in their university; they realize that their participation in public activities improves their learning; they feel that they are in demand among the other students. This is why each student should have a chance to demonstrate own possibilities and choose captivating for him/her sphere within new university culture.
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Motivation is something that is completely lacking in many first-year students. This is why it becomes crucially important to help these students develop own skills and be motivated to learn the material and comprehend it on the necessary level. Students are not some kinds of robots, which may be switch on and off when it is necessary. Teachers and elder students should help them discover new qualities in order to be useful for a new culture of the chosen university.
Students’ involvement into university’s life, different types of rewards, and necessary practicing – this is what may lead to positive results in learning after proper motivation. Investigation with students help to clear up that not each type of motivation may be useful; this is why negative outcomes of motivation can take place. In order to avoid such disappointments, it is better to analyze student’s skills and interests before choosing any type of motivation.
Only after a person, who is going to motivate a student realizes his/her weak and strong points, it is possible to achieve really good results, and motivation in learning may be considered as successful. And, finally, it is necessary to remember that the more reasons a student has for doing something, completing this or that task, participating in this or that activity, the more chances he/she has to complete the task and achieve good results.
Howe, MJA 1998, ‘Varieties of Motivation’, in Principles of Abilities and Human Learning, Psychology Press, East Sussex, pp. 79-82.
Moodie, G 2006, ‘Follow the Course of Your Heart’s Desire’, The Australian.
Opennheimer, JR 2001, ‘Increasing Student Motivation and Facilitating Learning’, College Teaching, vol. 49, no. 3, pp. 96.
Ryan, MP & Glenn, PA 2004, ‘What Do First-Year Students Need Most: Learning Strategies Instructions or Academic Socialization?’, Journal of College Reading and Learning, vol. 34, no. 2, pp.4.