Teaching Commons > Events > Fall Forum on Teaching & Learning > Finding, Applying, and Building Motivation into Your Teaching (2023)

Finding, Applying, and Building Motivation into Your Teaching (2023)

Finding, Applying, and building Motivation into Your Teaching

October 20th | 11am - 2pm

Though motivating students may appear to be intuitive to some educators and advantageous for learners, there are in fact potential pitfalls and detrimental consequences to the motivational strategies educators apply in their classrooms. This workshop introduced educators to diverse motivational strategies that, when applied thoughtfully, can enhance students’ learning experiences, along with their strengths and limitations. Professor Marcus Johnson of Virginia Tech facilitated discussion and activities during this workshop and provided opportunities for attendees to reflect on techniques for applying and building adaptive motivation into one’s teaching. In addition to comprehensively discussing “motivation in education,” connections were made to other relevant Center for Teaching and Learning topics that included student-centered pedagogies, culturally responsive teaching, and assessment, to name a few. ​​​

Watch the keynote video here (requires authentication). ​​​​

Presenter's Biography 

Marcus Johnson
Dr. Marcus Johnson is a Professor of Educational Psychology and Educational Research in the School of Education at Virginia Tech. He joined the Virginia Tech faculty following his decade-plus tenure at the University of Cincinnati, where he was the proud recipient of the University’s Faculty Exemplary Service Award and inductee of the Academy of Fellows for Teaching & Learning. Identifying as a Developmental and Educational Psychologist, Dr. Johnson’s scholarship concerning “motivation in education,” has included investigations of traditional and nontraditional college students’ motivations, and the use of motivational strategies that enhance cognitive engagement and learning. Nationally, Dr. Johnson has served on the American Psychological Association’s Council of Representatives, and presently serves as an Associate Editor for the journal Contemporary Educational Psychology. Dr. Johnson earned his PhD in Educational Psychology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and for over a decade he has enjoyed teaching various courses in higher education, from Human Development to Human Learning, and from Educational Assessment to Research Methods. Prior to his work in higher education, Dr. Johnson had taught high school science in diverse settings.

Workshop Objectives

  • Identify aspects of the classroom environment that are both advantageous and potentially detrimental to learners’ motivation.
  • Discuss effective strategies for enhancing student motivation and/or classroom climate.
  • Brainstorm ways of incorporating and refining motivational strategies throughout a course.
  • Identify sources of inspiration and rejuvenation from the motivational strategies being considered


11:00 am - 11:15 am
Welcoming Remarks
11:15 am - 12:15 am
Interactive Keynote
12:15 am - 1:00 pm
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm