Improving Learner Motivation Through
Margueratt, Dennis O.
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The purpose of this thesis was to examine the relationship between the instructional design methodology used to design and develop a distance learning product and learner motivation. Evidence from readings consulted in preparing this thesis suggested that motivation is not often a prominent consideration in the design of distance learning products. In the early 1970s, John Keller wrote about the relationship between motivation and instructional design resulting in the creation of four elements -- Attention, Relevance, Confidence, and Satisfaction (ARCS) -- that has become a predominant model of learner motivation. A quasi-experimental research design, a One-Group Pretest and Posttest, was used to investigate the influence of instructional design methodology on learner motivation. The sample for this study consisted of 204 learners enrolled in the Defense Management Course at the Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario. Two questionnaires, administered before and after an instructional design intervention based on Keller’s ARCS model, were used to gather data on learner motivation. A significant difference between the means for the total scores between the two questionnaires was demonstrated using a Paired Sample T-Test. The analysis of the ARCS elements was conducted using a Non-Parametric, Two Related Samples, Wilcoxon statistical test. Statistical analysis revealed that, with the exception of Relevance, all of the ARCS elements were significantly positively influenced as a result of changes made to the instructional design of the revised lessons. Finally, an analysis of the dependent motivational components of locus of control, self-efficacy, and intrinsic and extrinsic motivation are provided and discussed in terms of their relationship with the ARCS elements.