Motivation is a percentage game, according to Rinne, which means that motivation level differ from student to student and this is what determines their achievement level and desire to learn. Percentage game is an interesting concept but the author has not delved very deep into it, which makes it whole concept somewhat ambiguous.
Rinne has however paid discussed the main topic of her article in great details i.e. intrinsic appeals. The author has been very clear about what he means by intrinsic appeals and has given sound examples in each case. He starts with novelty and explains why novelty is important in motivating a student. Novelty is 'unpredictable' and something that introduces the student to new possibilities. When a teacher introduces innovation and experimentation in the classroom, he can easily capture student's interest. By doing the same tasks differently, he removes the air of boredom that generally permeates regular lessons and makes the student sit up and take notice. But novelty can only be used as the first step, which must be backed up with some other technique in order to sustain interest. The author believes that novelty can soon wear off and thus requires the help of other techniques. However it can play an important role in attracting student's attention.
The other important components or techniques of motivation are surprise, anticipation, feedback etc. All of these help in generating interest and may or may not be capable of sustaining interest for a long time. For example while novelty tends to wear off, so does surprise but anticipation, feedback and security have a lasting impact. If a teacher manages to capture student's interest in a lesson by using novelty and surprise techniques, he/she will need to back it up with anticipation or feedback in order to keep the students motivated for a long period of time.
The author uses substantial research material to support his views on motivation but his key concepts are his own and this quite original. While we may be familiar with these concepts, Rinne has made a commendable effort to bring them all together under the umbrella of motivation. His article is worth reading more than once for while the reader may not agree with all concepts and their significance, he is likely to find them worth pondering since they are simple to apply and implement. The best and probably the most useful suggestion appears in the form of security cue. Rinne explains that while it is important to do simple tasks in a different manner and introducing students to new possibilities that they never thought were there, it is also equally important to incorporate the security cue in order not to make the task intimidating or threatening. Most students are unwilling to participate actively in new tasks because of the fear of what they might be expected to do or achieve. For this reason, it is important to begin a new activity by connecting with something that the student is already familiar with.
The article is certainly an important one for those who are concerned about students' motivation level in classroom. However what I failed to understand was Rinne's research on lesson content was any different from educator characteristics that other researchers have dealt with. While the author repeatedly says it is the content of the lesson, which is important, for some odd reason, most techniques that he mentioned had little to do with content and more to do with teachers themselves. For example, novelty is something not intrinsically present in lesson content, it is the way teacher presents those contents. Similarly surprise and anticipation are techniques that a teacher can use to generate interest but how exactly are they related to lesson contents?
All in all, while the article is certainly good and offers some sound suggestions for motivating students, the author fails to acknowledge the role played by teachers and therefore completely ignored the connection that lies between his concept of intrinsic appeals and teacher…