Unit 1 ARCS Model of Motivational Design

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ARCS Model of Motivational Design

Unit Objectives

You will be able to identify motivational strategies for students and utilize them in your classroom. You will also be able to summarize the ARCS model of motivational design.


The ARCS Model of Motivational Design is a process designed by John Keller to be used by teachers for the purpose of motivating students. There are 4 key elements to this process: Attention, Relevance, Confidence, and Satisfaction.
Attention, as the word implies, refers to various methods a teacher would use to grab the students, keeping them focused on the task at hand. This can be achieved several ways, such as getting students actively involved in the lesson, using humor, or using various technologies throughout the lesson.
Relevance refers to the underlying goal of this course, applying student interest to increase motivation. The following two lessons dive deeper into the signifigance of student interests and how to use them to stimulate the learning process.
Once relevance has been established the teacher needs to help build the students confidence. This can be accomplished by clearly going over the requirements of the task and also going over the grading rubric. Break the process down if needed to ensure the students can effectively tackle the given situation.
Finally, satisfaction is where the student realizes what they learned can be applied to their immediate or future lives. You should praise the students for their accomplishments and provide feedback.
In order for John Keller's motivational design process to be successful you must also take into consideration the following:
  • Knowing and identifying the elements of human motivation,
  • Analyzing audience characteristics to determine motivational requirements,
  • Identifying characteristics of instructional materials and processes that stimulate motivation,
  • Selecting appropriate motivational tactics, and
  • Applying and evaluating appropriate tactics.(Keller, 2006)


  • Read the following article, written by Robert Harris, which outlines various techniques and ideas that you can use to motivate your students.[[1]]

  • Explore the following article, written by Anne McCall, which focuses on motivating underachieving students.[[2]]

  • Extended Activity
  • For an indepth look at the ARCS Model of Motivation Design check out the mini-course designed by Julia Kelly
Design Project: ARCS model of Motivation Design


Keeping students motivated to learn is an on-going process. What motivates one student to learn may not necessarily motivate another. Motivation can take many forms, some students are more concerned with achievement and hence feel a sense of power being the brightest student in the class while others simply embrace their work and take a genuine interest in it. In general, people are motivated to take action when they believe they can acquire a goal, and they believe that the goal is worth taking the risk.

Unit 2 Student Interests

Motivating the Mathematics Student

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