Impact of Motivation on Adult Learners

Motivation is an important aspect in everyone's life. There is no way around it. Whether people lack it or embrace it, motivation exists. The words desire and the need to succeed' come to mind every time I think of motivation. Generally, adults know what their goals, needs and desires are for the now and future; however, some lack that special ingredient; the flare, the core of motivation the ultimate desire where regardless of the circumstances, the internal goals will always take precedence.

Motivation & Education

One area deserving the spotlight is education, education and the adult-learner to be more specific. Many adults are seeking continued higher education for different reasons; job security, income stability, setting the example, or just simply for self-improvement. However, how can learners stay focused and succeed, when work and other obligations has them going in many different directions? Whether intrinsic or extrinsic, motivation is a deeply engrained value and factor that can literally have a tremendous impact on one's behavior and lifestyle.

One can examine two of the many theories in existence. Two theories which focus on meeting needs and assessing motivating factors are described in Herzberg's motivating factors and Maslow's growth needs. Maslow and Herzberg provide complementary theories regarding motivation. According to Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs Theory (basic and growth needs), one is to meet and satisfy the basic needs before they choose to focus and move to the external needs in terms of higher level of growth.

In other words, internalize your needs and meet those that are most important, which bring the peace of mind you so desire; once you are there, achieving and meeting additional needs is icing on the cake, but must come secondary to your personal needs. One the personal needs have been reasonably satisfied, one may be able to reach the highest-level of achievement called self-actualization. Accordingly, Frederick Herzberg's motivator and hygiene factors theory, explains that motivating factors increase job satisfaction through recognition, achievement, work itself, responsibility, advancement and growth.

How Beliefs Impact Motivation

Remember, for these theories to exist, each individual must take a stand in what he or she believes in; in other words, each person must act on his or her beliefs and apply those beliefs in everyday living. While keeping in mind the two theories, the Learner-Centered Principles' motivation factors can further shed some light on the many various types of characteristics a student has, can adopt, or applies the principles cover a wide variety of traits, which is beneficial in education.

According to college and university experts, many students feel they are highly motivated and have what it takes to persevere when it comes to pursuing higher education, to be effective learners. Yet at the same time, one must keep in mind this; the majority, are working adults with many responsibilities and the existence of motivation may fade away at times and become non-existent in the list of priorities. Fostering transformation through motivation will help those who are unsure or lack the confidence in their abilities. Sometimes, it is very tough to maintain one's personal goals when it comes to education. To help foster motivation in adult learners and help transform students in their learning styles is to show consistent interest in their output and provide encouragement.

How Teachers Impact Motivation

Teachers must take the time to know and learn about their student's backgrounds, learning experiences, learning styles, and their preferred method of learning. This is not to say, that each student should be treated as an individual, but with the different inputs provided by the students, educators can compile a list of techniques and methods to help foster motivation as a key driver to reach results.

Some education thought leaders suggest that another approach is to allow students to voice his or her opinions and concerns openly without reservations, allowing the students to make as many of their own choices. This in turn will benefit any community that supports education transformation is within and requires outside influences to help foster the changes. Offering guidance is a winning tactic that should not be ignored. When students are faced with tasks and assignments, most do not necessarily know the gist of the knowledge at hand and the subsequent requirements.

A little guidance can go a long way, with positive affirmations and adequate feedback is necessary in keeping the student motivated and interested after all, it is their future, but no one reaches their goals on his or her own terms it takes hard work, dedication, and reaching out to the duty experts to become the expert. Therefore, to enhance motivation, teachers can participate by limiting the comparison between one student and the other, and raise the level of involvement in the education setting.

Create More Student Engagement

Additionally, teachers can assist learners by shifting the focus on the student's efforts to engage others who are less likely to participate in discussions. Lastly, teachers can promote beliefs in the student's level of competence thus increasing the chances for success. In providing positive reinforcement and assertively pursuing effective benchmarking tactics, and providing guidance, one can safely say the results will show a benefit to one and call, especially in the communities people inhabit.

Adults and students alike want to have their individual needs met, and most would prefer to have a purpose in achieving their goals and interests through motivation (whatever the trigger to motivate is), the goals and interests will become more appealing. Adult-learners want teachers who care, and who are real they want to be challenged and have teachers that can relate. Authenticity in this case is very important.

As an educator of adults it would be wise to remain authentic in your teaching approach, and use context in a manner where you show the students you can relate to them while not forcing them to relate to you as you do not want to come off as intimidating. Always set realistic yet high expectations, as this will drive the students to want to do more, give more and excel more. However, do not have expectations that will hinder or impede the learning process or progress. Balance is the key, and gauging and knowing your target audience is important. Naturally, you must take the time to get to know your students, as best as you can, to at least assess and determine their strengths and weakness. You can then use the assessment to address each student based on his or her style of learning.

Ensure you incorporate the importance of communication and proper conversation in your teaching style, as this adds a nice touch in keeping an atmosphere full of desire for continuous professionalism in everything that takes place in the educational setting. Remain enthusiastic, and inject humor; who doesn't like a good chuckle every now and then amidst an intense course of instruction? If you notice some struggles while teaching, take a leap; find out what drives the students to stay motivated, and fiercely adjust your course accordingly, so you do not lose them forever. Lastly, provide feedback as quickly and adequately as possible to keep the learner's interest at peak.