Teachers are responsible for motivating students to learn. Behaviorist learning theories provide teachers with a variety of strategies to help them with motivating their students. Educators have used behaviorist methods for years to encourage desirable behaviors and decrease unwanted behaviors (Orey, 2001). Teachers can increase desirable student behaviors by establishing consequences for appropriate and inappropriate actions in the classroom. Teachers can also support student behaviors with the use of technology. Educators can successfully implement behaviorist methods and instructional strategies into their classrooms through the use of blogs and online educational games.
The use of a blog is one way to incorporate the reinforcing effort and providing recognition instructional strategy into the classroom. Posting outstanding student work online can provide students with recognition opportunities from classmates, families, and teachers (Pitler, Hubbell, & Kuhn, 2012). Students can post their work to a blog and receive comments and feedback from others. Behavior changes occur when students associate work with something positive and receive recognition from people they respect (Orey, 2001). When students receive positive feedback, they are likely to continue their efforts on subsequent tasks. This also motivates other students in the class because they want the same recognition of their work.
Another instructional strategy that correlates with the principles of the behaviorist learning theory and supports the use of technology is assigning homework and providing practice. To strengthen the homework and practice strategy,the use of technology provides a vast amount of resources to assist students in learning outside of school (Pitler et al., 2012). Some resources students have access to outside of school are online educational games. The students in my classroom have accounts for IXL Math, Reflex Math, and RAZ Kids. These games allow students to practice math and reading skills they learn in exciting ways. Positive reinforcement, such as incentives and praise, are essential to motivating students (Smith, 1999). Each game rewards students with points they can accumulate and use to receive medals of accomplishment or money for a store within the games. These incentives and the game format for learning motivate students with a desire to practice what they are learning at home.
Behaviorist learning theories aid teachers in motivating students in the classroom. The incorporation of technology in education supports the use of instructional strategies and the behaviorist learning theories to enhance student learning. Class blogs can provide recognition to students who do well on assignments, and online educational games can motivate students to continue practicing at home.
Orey, M. (Ed.). (2001). Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved from http://projects.coe.uga.edu/epltt/index.php?title=Main_Page
Pitler, H., Hubbell, E. R., & Kuhn, M. (2012). Using technology with classroom instruction that works (2nd ed.). Alexandria, VA: ASCD.
Smith, K. (1999). The behaviourist orientation to learning. In The encyclopedia of informal education. Retrieved from http://infed.org/mobi/the-behaviourist-orientation-to-learning/