Enhancing Student Motivation – “Raise the Bar”

DS 78: Proceedings of the 16th International conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE14), Design Education and Human Technology Relations, University of Twente, The Netherlands, 04-05.09.2014

Year: 2014
Editor: Erik Bohemia, Arthur Eger, Wouter Eggink, Ahmed Kovacevic, Brian Parkinson, Wessel Wits
Author: H, Anders
Series: E&PDE
Institution: Division of Innovation & Design, Lule
Section: Design Education in Practice
Page(s): 414-419
ISBN: 978-1-904670-56-8


The quest for enhancing student motivation, commitment and performance in higher education is an ever-present struggle for university teachers. Of course, the hunt for a good grade is something that is very central for students, but as a teacher you would like to reach further and find a deeper, more personal motivation within each student. A hypothesis that was investigated was that students will accept high demands if they are clearly defined and presented directly in the beginning instead of being introduced gradually during the course. In the present course, a team of six teachers was put together in order to be able to handle the students’ need for coaching and support. The course included multiple sub-deadlines concluded by status presentations, called Design Reviews, where the groups updated the teaching team and other groups on the project’s progress. The Design Reviews included both an oral presentation of five minutes and a written memorandum, called PM. Each student was responsible for one oral presentation and one PM. Examination of the course was based on the final project result as well as on performance during the Design Reviews. The conclusions from this approach are that the general motivation was increased. The project results were very good and included several innovative solutions. Student reaction to the high demands was positive but teacher coaching is a very important factor for keeping this on a manageable and stimulating level for the students and preventing it from being an oppressive stress factor.

Keywords: Motivation, commitment, coaching, expectations


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