How self-determination theory improves motivation tips, Studying advice, Students SDT online learning guide

How Self-Determination Theory Can Improve Your Motivation as an Effective Student

18 September 2021

Students who want to increase their motivation often rely on the tips they find in online articles, which have little evidential basis and lack logic. Relying on theoretical knowledge supported with reliable evidence is more effective, but students rarely choose this option. In this article, the write essays for money team dwells on applying self-determination theory (SDT) in education. You will learn more about this popular theory and how it can help you motivate yourself more effectively and become an accomplished student.

How self-determination theory improves motivation

What Is SDT?

SDT explaining the dynamics of human motivation, need, and well-being was developed in 1985. It postulates that all people have three basic psychological requirements:

  • autonomy (feeling self-endorsed and self-governed)
  • competence (feeling effective and capable)
  • relatedness (feeling connected, included, valued)

When the listed needs are met, people have a better psychological state and vice versa. It is believed that by adequately addressing these psychological needs in the classroom, teachers can motivate students to engage willingly in academic tasks. When students feel their needs are not met, they are less likely to focus on educational activities as they require much time and energy. More importantly, SDT stresses that people have an innate tendency to pursue their interests, seek challenges, learn about new things, and express their talents. So, all they need to do to live more meaningful lives is to understand how to tap into this innate desire to grow.

Numerous studies have shown that SDT is a valid theory that accurately explains student motivation. Educational programs around the globe incorporate SDT in teaching strategies to achieve better student engagement and academic performance. If you also want to take advantage of this theoretical perspective on motivation, we can help you use it meaningfully.

How Can Students Use SDT

Motivation is something you could gradually improve as you progress in your study. Consider the following critical goals:

  • Increase self-awareness
  • Improve decision-making and goal-setting
  • Work on communication and relationship skills
  • Learn to praise oneself for success and use failures for self-growth

Furthermore, SDT stresses the crucial role of social support and cultural context. When applied to the educational context, it means that the tendency to be either motivated or unmotivated is primarily affected by the social setting in which students exist. In practice, it means that if you want to motivate yourself, you need to surround yourself with people who encourage and empower you, serve as positive role models, and believe in your success. Simultaneously, avoid people who distract you and have low expectations, as they may weigh you down.

Next, motivation is high when students have explicit goals. So, think about what you want to achieve, both in short- and long-term perspectives. Visualize your success and determine what actions are needed to achieve it. In this way, you will be intrinsically driven and feel control over your life as you progress in your study. Knowing that you study to achieve something rather than simply get good grades distinguishes outstanding students from mediocre ones.

Taking responsibility for your failures is also crucial. Students often blame professors or other external factors for their academic failures, which gives away their immaturity. Truly motivated students know that they should always assume responsibility for their failures because it is the first step towards personal growth. Be honest with yourself and try to work on your weaknesses instead of finding excuses.

A sense of motivation is also built by engaging in activities that you enjoy. Being equally interested and invested in all subjects is impossible, but you could find several areas that incite your curiosity and make you feel good about yourself. For example, if you like writing, spend more time on academic tasks involving this activity. In this way, developing skills in the area you like will build your confidence and make learning more meaningful and satisfying.

Finally, learn to manage your time. Students don’t have control over exam schedules or assignment deadlines. However, they can control how they organize their work by developing their study plans. If you haven’t used this strategy yet, we encourage you to try because it will make you achieve greater autonomy and control. You are free to choose how and when you want to study and explore learning strategies that work best for you.

Supporting Motivation

Remaining motivated is hard, continuous work. It requires a great degree of self-exploration and courage. You need to make a conscious effort each time you make a choice, take responsibility, and gain control over the learning process. However, learning to maintain motivation is an essential skills worth all these challenges, as it will make you a high-performing student.

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