Turner and Paris’ Six C’s of Motivation (1995) identify six characteristics of motivating contexts, namely, choice, challenge, control, collaboration, constructing meaning, and consequences. Choice was discussed in the previous blog posts.
The second C, Control, suggests that when students are given control over their own learning, they are more motivated to learn. Enabling and encouraging students to take control of their own learning, promotes their sense of independence, responsibility and self-confidence.
What can students control? The English Discoveries online platform gives the students control over numerous aspects of their learning. Firstly, students control when and where they complete their tasks. For some, they may work best at night while others in the mornings. Some might find it most comfortable to work at a desk while others may prefer to curl up on a couch with a laptop. Secondly, student have control over which support tools to use and how often. For example, they may wish to view a video numerous times until they fully understand it. They may use the online dictionary for words they have no idea the meaning of or “just to make sure” that their educated guess is correct. Thirdly, the option students have to set the degree of native language support to suit their own needs allows them to take control of the learning process. A student on a Basic level may require more native language support than a student at the Intermediate or Advanced levels. Students can choose what is best for them
In summary, when students are given control of their own learning, they gain independence, responsibility and self-confidence all of which increase motivation.