ERIC Identifier: ED409895
Publication Date: 1997-00-00
Author: Small, Ruth V.
Source: ERIC Clearinghouse on
Information and Technology Syracuse NY.
Motivation in Instructional Design. ERIC Digest.
Developing life-long learners who are intrinsically motivated, display
intellectual curiosity, find learning enjoyable, and continue seeking knowledge
after their formal instruction has ended has always been a major goal of
education. Early motivational research was conducted primarily in the workplace,
and centered on ways to motivate industrial workers to work harder, faster, and
More recent motivational research focuses on the identification of effective
techniques for enhancing instructional design, improving classroom management,
and meeting the needs of diverse student populations (Wlodkowski, 1981).
Learning-motivation researchers are applying some of the same theories and
concepts found to be effective in industry to the development of motivational
models that enhance the teaching-learning environment. One such model is the
ARCS Model of Motivational Design developed by John M. Keller of Florida State
University (Keller, 1983,1987). ARCS is a systematic model for designing
motivating instruction. This digest will describe the ARCS Model, and will
outline some of the ways in which ARCS components may be applied to
THE ARCS MODEL OF MOTIVATIONAL DESIGN
The ARCS Model of
Motivational Design is a well-known and widely applied model of instructional
design. Simple, yet powerful, the ARCS Model is rooted in a number of
motivational theories and concepts, (see Keller, 1983) most notably
expectancy-value theory (e.g. Vroom, 1964; Porter and Lawler, 1968).
In expectancy-value theory, "effort" is identified as the major measurable
motivational outcome. For "effort" to occur, two necessary prerequisites are
specified: (1) the person must value the task and (2) the person must believe he
or she can succeed at the task. Therefore, in an instructional situation, the
learning task needs to be presented in a way that is engaging and meaningful to
the student, and in a way that promotes positive expectations for the successful
achievement of learning objectives.
The ARCS Model identifies four essential strategy components for motivating
--[A]ttention strategies for arousing and sustaining curiosity and interest;
--[R]elevance strategies that link to learners' needs, interests, and
--[C]onfidence strategies that help students develop a positive expectation
for successful achievement; and
--[S]atisfaction strategies that provide extrinsic and intrinsic
reinforcement for effort (Keller, 1983).
Keller (1987) breaks each of the four ARCS components down into three
strategy sub-components. The strategy sub-components and instructionally
relevant examples are shown below.
--Perceptual Arousal: provide novelty, surprise,
incongruity or uncertainty. Ex. The teacher places a sealed box covered with
question marks on a table in front of the class.
--Inquiry Arousal: stimulate curiosity by posing questions or problems to
solve. Ex. The teacher presents a scenario of a problem situation and asks the
class to brainstorm possible solutions based on what they have learned in the
--Variability: incorporate a range of methods and media to meet students'
varying needs. Ex. After displaying and reviewing each step in the process on
the overhead projector, the teacher divides the class into teams and assigns
each team a set of practice problems.
--Goal Orientation: present the objectives and
useful purpose of the instruction and specific methods for successful
achievement. Ex. The teacher explains the objectives of the lesson.
--Motive Matching: match objectives to student needs and motives. Ex. The
teacher allows the students to present their projects in writing or orally to
accommodate different learning needs and styles.
--Familiarity: present content in ways that are understandable and that are
related to the learners' experience and values. Ex. The teacher asks the
students to provide examples from their own experiences for the concept
presented in class.
--Learning Requirements: inform students about
learning and performance requirements and assessment criteria. Ex. The teacher
provides students with a list of assessment criteria for their research projects
and circulates examples of exemplary projects from past years.
--Success Opportunities: provide challenging and meaningful opportunities for
successful learning. Ex. The teacher allows the students to practice extracting
and summarizing information from various sources and then provides feedback
before the students begin their research projects.
--Personal Responsibility: link learning success to students' personal effort
and ability. Ex. The teacher provides written feedback on the quality of the
students' performance and acknowledges the students' dedication and hard work.
--Intrinsic Reinforcement: encourage and
support intrinsic enjoyment of the learning experience. Ex. The teacher invites
former students to provide testimonials on how learning these skills helped them
with subsequent homework and class projects.
--Extrinsic Rewards: provide positive reinforcement and motivational
feedback. Ex. The teacher awards certificates to students as they master the
complete set of skills.
--Equity: maintain consistent standards and consequences for success. Ex.
After the term project has been completed, the teacher provides evaluative
feedback using the criteria described in class.
MOTIVATION ASSESSMENT INSTRUMENTS
Since the ARCS Model was
introduced in the early 1980's, several instruments have been developed for
assessing the motivational quality of instructional situations. The
Instructional Materials Motivation Survey (IMMS) (Keller, 1987) asks students to
rate 36 ARCS-related statements in relation to the instructional materials they
have just used. Some examples are:
--"These materials are eye-catching." (Attention)
--"It is clear to me how the content of this material is related to things I
already know." (Relevance)
--"As I worked on this lesson, I was confident that I could learn the
--"Completing the exercises in this lesson gave me a satisfying feeling of
Keller and Keller (1989) developed the Motivational Delivery Checklist, a
47-item ARCS-based instrument for evaluating the motivational characteristics of
an instructor's classroom delivery. Examples of items related to each ARCS
--"Uses questions to pose problems or paradoxes." (Attention)
--"Uses language and terminology appropriate to learners and their context."
--"Provides feedback on performance promptly." (Confidence)
--"Makes statements giving recognition and credit to learners as
The Website Motivational Analysis Checklist (WebMAC) (Small, 1997) is an
instrument used for designing and assessing the motivational quality of World
Wide Web sites. WebMAC builds on Keller's work (1987a; 1987b; 1989), Taylor's
Value-Added Model (1986), and the research on relevance and information
retrieval (e.g. Schamber, 1994). Still in development and testing, WebMAC
identifies 60 items that are categorized according to four general
characteristics: Engaging, Meaningful, Organized, and Enjoyable. Some examples
of items are:
--"Eye-catching title and/or visual on home page." (Engaging)
--"User-controlled type of information accessed." (Meaningful)
--"Logical sequence of information." (Organized)
--"Links to other websites of interest." (Enjoyable)
The ARCS Model of Motivational Design is an
easy-to-apply, heuristic approach to increasing the motivational appeal of
instruction. ARCS provides a useful framework for both the design and
improvement of the motivational quality of a range of informational
entities--from classroom instruction to Internet resources--and increases the
likelihood that these entities will be used and enjoyed.
REFERENCES AND RELATED READINGS
Chemotti, J.T. (1992,
June). From nuclear arms to Hershey's kisses: Strategies for motivating
students. "School Library Media Activities Monthly," 8(10), 34-36. (EJ 446 223)
Keller, J.M. (1983). "Motivational design of instruction. In C.M. Reigeluth
(Ed.). Instructional design theories and models: An overview of their current
status." Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
Keller, J.M. (1987a, Oct.). Strategies for stimulating the motivation to
learn. "Performance and Instruction," 26(8), 1-7. (EJ 362 632)
Keller, J.M. (1987b). "IMMS: Instructional materials motivation survey."
Florida State University.
Keller, J.M. & Keller, B.H. (1989). "Motivational delivery checklist."
Florida State University.
Porter, L.W. & Lawler, E.E. (1968). "Managerial attitudes and
performance." Homewood, IL: Dorsey Press.
Schamber, L. (1994). Relevance and information behavior. "Annual Review of
Information Science and Technology," Medford, NJ: Learned Information, Inc. (EJ
Small, R.V. (1992, Apr.). Taking AIM: Approaches to instructional motivation.
"School Library Media Activities Monthly," 8(8), 32-34.
Small, R.V. (1997). "Assessing the motivational quality of world wide
websites." ERIC Clearinghouse on Information and Technology. (ED 407 930)
Taylor, R.S. (1986). "Value-added processes in information systems." Norwood,
NJ: Ablex. (ISBN: 0-89391-273-5)
Vroom, V.H. (1964). "Work and motivation." New York: Wiley.
Wlodkowski, R.J. (1981). Making sense our of motivation: A systematic model
to consolidate motivational constructs across theories. "Educational
Psychologist," 16(2), 101-110.