How Can Teachers Motivate Students to Complete Assignments?

One of the greatest challenges that you may face as a teacher is keeping your students motivated to complete their work. Keep reading for a number of techniques and ideas that you might find helpful.

Find available tutors

How Can I Help My Students Become Motivated Learners?

There is no 'one size fits all' method for motivating students. Some students are naturally motivated learners, while others need a great deal of help to complete assignments. For this reason, there are many different theories and strategies on how to motivate students.

Understanding Extrinsic Motivation and Intrinsic Motivation

Students who are driven by external factors, known as extrinsic motivation, generally do not find the motivation within themselves to finish their work. Although you could provide extrinsic motivation by giving rewards and other material incentives for completing assignments, these techniques don't always reach all students. If you've used rewards in the past, you may have noticed that the students who get the most rewards are often the students who would've completed the assignments anyway.

You may be able to reach more students by helping them become intrinsically, or internally, motivated. You can do this by making the assignments fun and meaningful while minimizing busy work. Before assigning a large project, for example, you can excite students by tapping into their background knowledge and interests. Once students are excited, they will be more motivated to complete the assignment. The material you present must be relatable to their lives or it may be difficult for them to stay focused.

Creating a Positive Classroom Environment

Self-esteem makes students feel good about themselves and their abilities right from the start. Most students who believe themselves to be smart and capable will outperform students filled with self-doubt or anxiety about their work. When possible, maintain an open and responsive attitude towards the needs of every student and try to make sure that everyone feels valued as a member of the class. After determining the average learning curve of your class, set the bar there while providing extra assistance and extra challenges to students who need either.

Engaging Your Students

Try to devise projects and activities that are interactive and approach them with an enthusiasm that your students pick up on. Completing worksheets all the time can become uninteresting and students may not be motivated to complete them after awhile. If you can find ways for students to practice essential skills while also being engaged in creative activities, you may discover that students become more motivated when it comes to the dryer assignments that need to be completed. It's easier for many students to focus on assignments when there are also games and other fun learning activities. Variety can be an essential tool.

Listening and Responding to Students

Every student is different and every combination of students that form a class is different. In order to ensure that your students complete their assignments, it's helpful to listen to them and respond specifically to who they are. Try to keep your students directly involved in all classroom activities and make sure that every individual has a place. You may even consider asking your students what they like and don't like in the class and hold votes about what activities they want to do when assignments are complete.

Did you find this useful? If so, please let others know!

Other Articles You May Be Interested In

  • More Blog Articles
    The Big Money Sports World Of... High School?

    The New York Yankees, the Miami Heat and... the Valor Christian Eagles? Big money sports teams have long dominated professional sports, and they've become the norm in college, too. As Coloradoans are finding out, now high school teams are being divided into the haves and have nots, and the have nots are crying foul.

  • More Blog Articles
    'Sesame Street' Strives to Combine Humor and Science

    For more than 40 years, preschoolers have been asking how to get to Sesame Street; after the show's latest season, which began in September 2011, these children might be able to calculate just how many miles they need to travel to get there. Welcome to the 'new' Sesame Street, brought to you by the subjects Science, Technology,...

We Found 7 Tutors You Might Be Interested In

Huntington Learning

  • What Huntington Learning offers:
  • Online and in-center tutoring
  • One on one tutoring
  • Every Huntington tutor is certified and trained extensively on the most effective teaching methods
In-Center and Online


  • What K12 offers:
  • Online tutoring
  • Has a strong and effective partnership with public and private schools
  • AdvancED-accredited corporation meeting the highest standards of educational management
Online Only

Kaplan Kids

  • What Kaplan Kids offers:
  • Online tutoring
  • Customized learning plans
  • Real-Time Progress Reports track your child's progress
Online Only


  • What Kumon offers:
  • In-center tutoring
  • Individualized programs for your child
  • Helps your child develop the skills and study habits needed to improve their academic performance
In-Center and Online

Sylvan Learning

  • What Sylvan Learning offers:
  • Online and in-center tutoring
  • Sylvan tutors are certified teachers who provide personalized instruction
  • Regular assessment and progress reports
In-Home, In-Center and Online

Tutor Doctor

  • What Tutor Doctor offers:
  • In-Home tutoring
  • One on one attention by the tutor
  • Develops personlized programs by working with your child's existing homework
In-Home Only


  • What TutorVista offers:
  • Online tutoring
  • Student works one-on-one with a professional tutor
  • Using the virtual whiteboard workspace to share problems, solutions and explanations
Online Only

Our Commitment to You

  • Free Help from Teachers

  • Free Learning Materials

  • Helping Disadvantaged Youth