Planning Your Remote Course


Motivating Your Students
We recommend reading or skimming the following materials before the workshop 



 One of the concerns many of you expressed related to remote teaching is student motivation and engagement. Wlodkowski (2008) created a framework of motivational strategies based on four motivational conditions: inclusion, attitude, meaning, and competence. Strategies related to inclusion and attitude are typically incorporated at the beginning of the class, strategies related to meaning are incorporated in the middle, and strategies related to competence are often ending activities. There are many ways you can incorporate these strategies in your course, below you will find some example strategies for each of the four motivational conditions with ideas of how to implement them in an online format.




Quick Ideas: 



Inclusion: Meet Your Classmates

Create a Meet Your Classmates course blog or discussion board – Ask students to introduce themselves to the class, share photos, and answer a few questions related to the class content. Be clear in the requirements of participation (topics to address in the response, number of words, etc.). As the instructor you can model the information you would like your students to share by introducing yourself in the same area of the course. If you are planning to use video throughout the course, it is a good idea to introduce their use of the tool in a low-stakes assignment like an introduction activity. Blogs are useful if the primary voice is the author or if you would like to be able to scroll through student responses all on one page. If you want the introduction to be a conversation starter then a discussion board tool may be more appropriate.

Inclusion: Introduce Yourself to Your Professor

Introduction to your Professor activity – Create an opportunity for your students to share information with you that they feel you may need to know as the course starts. You can use Microsoft Forms to create a survey that is NOT anonymous. You can include questions about why students decided to take this course, goals for a final grade, amount of time they expect to spend on the class per week, prerequisite knowledge, or concerns about the class. Some faculty like to summarize the results and discuss how the students’ expectations align with their expectations for the class.

Related Motivational Strategies

Allow for introduction, provide an opportunity for multidimensional sharing, emphasize the human purpose of what is being learned and its relationship to the learners’ personal lives and current situations, explicitly introduce important norms and participation guidelines. (p. 159, Merriam & Bierema, 2014).


Merriam, S. B., & Bierema, L. L. (2014). Adult learning: Linking theory and practice. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Wlodkowski, R. J. (2008). Enhancing adult motivation to learn: A comprehensive guide for teaching all adults (3rd ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.