The ARCS Model of Motivational Design

When it comes to the efficacy of learning, other than course content and instructional design elements, what matters a lot is learner motivation. Well, you cannot control the learners’ motivation but you can influence their levels of motivation for sure. You can either motivate the learners to learn or entirely kill their interest. As a learning experience designer, your influence is unlikely to be neutral.

In this article, we will look at motivational design and specifically the ARCS model of motivational design.

What Is Motivation?
“Motivation refers broadly to what people desire, what they choose to do, and what they commit to do” (Keller, 2009). Philosophers have been pondering over the exact definition of motivation since ancient times. However, documented research exists only for a few hundred years. There are numerous theories that attempt to explain motivation and its attributes. Keller (2009) groups them into four categories.

The first one explores motivation through human physiology, genetics, and neurology. The second takes into consideration behavioral approaches, such as operant and classical conditioning, incentive motivation, and environmental influences. The third group delves into cognitive, attributional, and competence theories. The fourth group focuses on studies of emotion and affect.

Such categorization is useful for organizing and demarcating areas for research, but they keep researchers confined to a category and prove to be a hurdle when it comes to developing a holistic theory of motivation. know more