Thursday, January 8, 2009


I recently read a question on a discussion board regarding how to motivate e-learners.  Being a fervent subscriber to the ARCS model, I could not resist promoting it. For those of you who are not already familiar with Keller's motivational theory, here are Keller's 4 categories of motivational design.


  • Perceptual Arousal 

  • Inquiry Arousal

  • Variability


  • Familiarity

  • Goal Orientation 

  • Motive Matching


  • Expectancy for Success

  • Challenge Setting

  • Attribution Molding


  • Natural Consequences

  • Positive Consequences

  • Equity

(ARCS - Motivational Theory,, accessed:1/8/2008)

A few things I like about this model:

  • It works well with Gagne's nine events of instruction. You do not need to choose one over the other, but instead can incorporate the model within the nine events.

  • For me, it encourages incorporating interactive elements into courses.

  • It is flexible. And each category can be applied numerous times throughout instruction. However, do not over do it. For example, too many repetitive "attention" events can turn out to be annoying. Remember the MS Word Paper Clip guy?

Here are few links to learn more about ARCS:

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