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How to demotivate students

, Athabasca University, Canada

EdMedia + Innovate Learning, in Vancouver, BC, Canada ISBN 978-1-939797-24-7 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Waynesville, NC


Traditional teaching in physical classrooms is inherently hostile to intrinsic motivation, because students are there under duress, have limited control over their activities in the class, and at least some of what they are taught bores them or is too difficult. Teachers in physical spaces must therefore re-establish motivation lost simply because of teaching in physical spaces. Without such constraints, most institutional e-learning nonetheless attempts to replicate the methods of physical classrooms, using the threat and/or reward of accreditation and grading to drive students to conform. Completion rates in MOOCs show that such methods, when divorced from coercive pressure, motivate few. However, e-learning (e.g. through Google Search or Wikipedia) decisively exceeds in scale and effectiveness most other forms of intentional learning. This paper is concerned with ways to close the gap between the failure of formal e-teaching and the huge success of informal e-learning.


Dron, J. (2016). How to demotivate students. In Proceedings of EdMedia 2016--World Conference on Educational Media and Technology (pp. 1049-1056). Vancouver, BC, Canada: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved December 16, 2019 from .


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