What Makes a Student Motivated? 5 Best Ideas Teachers Should Consider

Students don’t get excited about learning when they aren’t motivated. Motivation plays a crucial role in student learning. Improving student motivation should be one of our priorities as teachers. Hence, I came to ask, “What makes a student motivated?”

increasing student engagement

How do get students excited about learning? What makes them work hard and improve their performance? As students also face challenges in life, they really need support to persevere and not give up. They need to focus on their learning and become resilient.

This post aims to cascade smart ideas on what makes a student motivated. These things can make a student willing to actively participate in the discussion and create his own meaningful learning experience.


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What Makes a Student Motivated?

Students won’t learn if they don’t develop a deeper connection in class. Learning forms a rough ascent when students don’t realize their involvement in education.

This is why the following are discussed to give us insights into what makes a student motivated and what makes them willing to participate.

1. Interesting content

When children are interested in the topic and perceive its importance in their existence, they become enthusiastic about learning. Exciting topics are your own making.  It’s within your capacity to make lessons attractive, stimulating, and appealing.

I believe you have the skills to make your lessons engaging and absorbing.

Make the lessons interesting. When lessons are well-planned and are made interesting, students can get excited about learning.  But the question is, how to make the lessons stimulating?

Free vector graphics of PushpinMake use of games. Gamifying content has become an active strategy for all teachers that can make students fall in love with learning. This involves the effective integration of technology and the best application of your creativity for fun and excitement.

How do you motivate your students? What are your initial activities? What are your motivational tasks? Do you plan an activity that amplifies student involvement?

Making use of games is making learning fun! There are educational apps that are supportive on this end. Kahoot and Quizizz have been my best choices.  Or you can use physical games that are quite fascinating to your students. Charades, for example, are a good catch.

Free vector graphics of PushpinDifferentiate instructions. Students are diverse. They have varied interests, learning styles, and preferences. It would be unfair if you’re just using one single activity or strategy for everybody. Thus, make a plan to differentiate and modify content, learning activities, and learning assessments.

Differentiating instruction has been an effective teaching strategy that brings about effective results and outcomes. You may adopt learning through play, making use of learning stations, inquiry-based learning, small group discussions, think-share-pair strategy, flipped classroom, and many others.

Be skilled in how to use differentiated instruction in your classroom so that you can keep students excited to learn and help them achieve their learning goals.

Meeting the needs of your individual learners can really make a difference in their motivation to learn. It’s an excellent approach to making lessons stimulating.

Check out students’ readiness, interests, and learning styles so you can maximize both their academic and social growth.

For highly effective strategies for differentiation, you can go over this list of Carol Ann Tomlinson’s books on differentiation and integration. She is an educator and a well-known author.

Free vector graphics of PushpinMake the content relevant. Check the relevance of the topic. Do you think students will appreciate it in the real world? How can they apply it in real life?  Can they figure out the connection?

When students can highly relate to concepts, they are more eager to listen and participate. If things are within the bounds of their experiences, they are more likely to participate, ask questions, and actively answer your questions.

Free vector graphics of PushpinMake surprises. Everyone loves surprises.  Students do! An unexpected twist in the learning process keeps the children excited. You might think it’s contradictory with the prerequisite of being consistent. Well, no. Making surprises in the classroom could mean surprising elements in lesson delivery and not on expectations and norms.

It’s quite different. Students just love surprises in the classroom. Taking students by surprise could be about the learning materials you present. It could be about a video presentation or an interesting listening activity of prediction.

When the elements of surprise are integrated into content, the learning process, as well as in the assessment, students will look forward to the buckets full of energy and unexpected moments.

Predictable components of the lesson can make the child bored. You have to keep them curious as to what is to be introduced next or what they will do next. There should be something mysterious in your instructional delivery to capture the attention of the students.

2. Interactive discussions

The involvement of the learners is magnified when they are actively invo9lved in the discussions. Creating a learning space where students actively share their ideas and are confident to present their views is a good catch to keep students motivated.

Don’t monopolize the discussions. A plain lecture will make the learning environment dull and keep the students weary.

Moreover, students will gain confidence if they are given opportunities to develop their language and social skills. They gain greater interest in learning if they enjoy the process.

It could begin with a question posted on the board. Or maybe you can ask them to pair up and discuss things. Aside from being the facilitator of learning, your most crucial role is to create opportunities for interactive discussions. How should it be done in your classroom? What interactive activities will you infuse?

The more students get around the classroom, the more their motivation to participate increases. As they learn together, you are promoting better student engagement and this expands interaction and collaboration.

3. Promising responsibilities and roles

Assign roles to the students. Articulate their responsibilities. Should they lead the preliminary activities? Should they present their work upfront? Do all of them have assignments in the varied tasks?

When students are certain of their roles in the learning tasks, they fully understand that their names carry the responsibility. Hence, they will work hard because you are expecting them to do it. These expectations raise their motivation to the highest level.

Nurturing the students means giving them roles so they become responsible for their own learning and in a more vast space, they are prepared for life in the real world.

Entrust them with responsibilities and roles. It can boost their confidence towards the achievement of their learning goals and live up to your expectations.

Instilling a sense of responsibility in children can do great in making them so eager to learn.  Just give them proper guidance and praise them for their accomplishments, you’ll notice their excitement for the succeeding tasks. Praise them more often and they’ll take responsibility with diligence and dedicated work.

4. Positive relationships

When students are given the opportunities to collaborate, their social skills are developed and they develop positive relationships in the classroom.

Through mutual respect and building positive relationships in the learning environment, students feel better and are excited to learn. When they feel that they are being valued, you are fostering a sense of belonging in the classroom which really helps increase student engagement.

Creating an environment where students feel loved and respected can develop a sense of trust and confidence. Besides, developing positive relationships in the classroom is an effective classroom management strategy that keeps children on their toes and becomes so attentive.

5. Safe and accommodating learning space

With positive relationships in the classroom, you are creating a safe and accommodating learning space that encourages children to be themselves so they’ll learn most effectively.

Hence, you should develop a good strategy for idea number 4 so you can be successful in creating a welcoming learning environment for your students.

Children should feel that they are safe and comfortable so they won’t hesitate to do their best and make a difference. Of course, this doesn’t happen automatically but you have the capability of making your students feel safe right from the start. You may begin with structuring the classroom.

Take care of your bulletin boards. Post something on the door to greet students that will create a smile on their faces as they first enter the classroom. Then, make a healthy introduction about yourself and make your students feel that you’re comfortable being with them. This can articulate a profound difference in their first impressions and makes them excited to look forward to what’s in store for them.


Cultivating student motivation is one of the challenges teachers face. It plays a critical role in a student’s life.

By knowing how crucial student motivation is in the teaching and learning process, you’ll definitely look for ways to keep students motivated by knowing what makes them engaged and excited.

Hopefully, the ideas mentioned above can help. These things essentially help students develop a positive attitude toward learning. When successfully integrated into your strategies, these ideas can help students to maintain focus and sustain valid interests in their studies.

What else can make a student motivated? Is there something more that inspires students to persevere and become deeply motivated? Please share your thoughts in the comment section.