Motivation and Student Success Faculty Development Series Workshop


KENNESAW, Ga. (Oct 8, 2017) — As part of the 2017-18 CHSS Faculty Development Series focused on student success, Dr. Esther Jordan, CETL Associate Director for Faculty Support, facilitated a workshop about understanding the faculty role in motivating students toward success.

Motivation is often measured by choice, effort, and persistence. A student’s success in engaging with different tasks in a course will generally be determined by these measures. The workshop focused on two related theories about motivation to equip faculty with strategies for increasing a student’s motivation in order to be successful. Participants shared examples of how they incorporate elements of these learning theories into their own classrooms, and they reviewed together four case studies based on real-life experiences of faculty and students in CHSS, examining ways to resolve challenges by applying these learning theories. 

The self-determination theory identifies three key predictors of student motivation: autonomy (choice and free will); competency (mastery); and relatedness (relationship building). The second theory presented in the workshop was the expectancy-value theory, which claims that expectation of success, the value of the material and activities to the student, and the supportive environment built by the instructor are all predictors of motivation. If a student does not see value in the activity or the material, then the student will not be motivated to succeed. Likewise, a supportive, positive environment and realistic expectations create a motivating atmosphere for students.

The workshop invited faculty participants to reflect on their own teaching practices, asking “Is student learning the primary goal?” and “How might motivation theory inform a way for me to respond to the situation to give more primacy to student learning?” The presentation slides from the workshop are available on the CHSS Faculty Development Series website:


For more information about motivation and student success, please contact Dr. Esther Jordan at More information about the work that the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) does can be found at their website,