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Showing posts from February, 2020

Motivation in the Legal Research Classroom

Motivating students in the legal research classroom can be a challenge. As we know, there are many false narratives surrounding students' conceptions of legal research's importance, interest level, and ease, all of which can result in a decrease in students' motivation to engage in this subject matter.

There are two types of motivation--intrinsic and extrinsic. Extrinsic motivation occurs when students are motivated by an outside reward or punishment;[1] in instruction, this is often the grades students will get on research assignments or the participation points they might receive for actively engaging with in-class exercises.  Intrinsic motivation, on the other hand, occurs when students are interested in the topic for its own sake.[2]

Due to legal research's false narratives, students entering our classrooms tend to be drive primarily by extrinsic motivation.  The problem is, as Julie Dirksen aptly notes in her excellent book Design for How People Learn, "intri…