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I wasn't good enough at encouraging people to be kinder, and removing people who refuse to be kind. Encouraging people is hard, and removing people creates conflict, and I hate conflict... so that's why I wasn't better at it.

I was a very, very sensitive teen. The atmosphere of this forum as it is now, if it had existed in 1996, would probably have upset me far more than it would have helped.

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Intrinsic Motivation & Self-Determination
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SoulRiser Offline
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Post: #1
Intrinsic Motivation & Self-Determination

Quote:Intrinsic motivation refers to initiating an activity for its own sake because it is interesting and satisfying in itself, as opposed to doing an activity to obtain an external goal (extrinsic motivation).
from here.

Now, take this link:
http://www.cat.ilstu.edu/additional/tips/intMotiv.php

Title: "Encouraging Students' Intrinsic Motivation"
... if you're encouraging it, how is it intrinsic?

First 2 sentences:
In my work with other faculty members on teaching and learning, many issues arise. One that is discussed repeatedly is the concern that students focus too much on grades and not enough on learning.
... Wait, what? How on earth do you think that could have possibly happened? Oh I dunno, maybe because school is so boring that the only real reason to pay attention IS for extrinsic rewards and/or lack of punishment? Laugh

But in all seriousness, this is still some interesting stuff that may help us anti-school people explain ourselves better to others...

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/self-determined
http://education.calumet.purdue.edu/voc ... rinsic.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motivation ... motivation
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-efficacy
http://giftedkids.about.com/od/glossary/g/intrinsic.htm

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05-13-2009 02:07 AM
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Incollegenow Offline
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Post: #2
Re: Intrinsic Motivation & Self-Determination

Interesting read, this is how I feel on school. Why can't the schools motivate the students through things they would actually be interested in without force? I've had teachers that frowned upon students doing things they enjoy. People look down on video games, but that doesn't mean video games don't teach anything. They teach hand eye coordination. There's reasons things stimulate people, but a lot of the teachers I've had can't see that.
05-13-2009 03:42 AM
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xcriteria Offline
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Re: Intrinsic Motivation & Self-Determination

Yeah, that's a good point. The structure of school is based entirely on extrinsic motivation, and (good) teachers have to try to coax some intrinsic motivation out of students.

SoulRiser Wrote:Title: "Encouraging Students' Intrinsic Motivation"
... if you're encouraging it, how is it intrinsic?
It's possible to encourage intrinsic motivation. If you get someone interested in something, by showing how it's worthwhile, interesting, fun, or useful, they can come to experience intrinsic motivation, whether it's physics, a game, or whatever.

I dug up an article that's relevant: "To produce or not to produce? Understanding boredom and the honor in underachievement." most of the text available here.

It discusses boredom and its opposite in school. The authors identified 5 factors in non-boredom: Control (self-determination), Choice, Challenge, Complexity, and Caring Teachers. Aside from the last one, all of those are present in most things we find really interesting, whether a game or a project.

Speaking of motivation... consider video games -- which can be extremely motivating. Many video games are structured around an equivalent of points, grades and credits -- yet they're fun to play. Why? What kind of motivation is involved in video game play, anyway?

Of course, part of it is just that game play is voluntary -- and if you get sick of one game, you can play or do something else. Also, games don't tend to involve high-level thinking and learning processes -- most are visual-spatial, involving reacting to things, making quick decisions, and maybe some strategy. But maybe the most engrossing aspect, compared to sitting in school, is that you get immediate feedback on your performance, and difficulty settings tend to be adjustable. You don't spend time sitting around waiting, unless you have a slow computer. And you are free to get as far as you want, without having to wait for the class to catch up.

But back to the question: is that intrinsic or extrinsic motivation? Intrinsic, because it's fun, or extrinsic, because it's all based on reacting to elements of the game and getting token rewards and punishments?

The wikipedia article claims that enjoying playing basketball is intrinsic, while making money is extrinsic. What if you love playing poker for money? At some point the line is blurred. But where the line is blurred, there's an optimal connection between whatever external structure/rewards are in place, and the inner process you engage in to succeed within that framework.

(If you break away from talking about points and games, and consider just free-learning about a subject, that's much more purely intrinsic motivation. But at times, even that motivation is hard to stir up in one's self. Which is a whole other topic.)
05-13-2009 03:45 AM
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Incollegenow Offline
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Post: #4
Re: Intrinsic Motivation & Self-Determination

xcriteria Wrote:Speaking of motivation... consider video games -- which can be extremely motivating. Many video games are structured around an equivalent of points, grades and credits -- yet they're fun to play. Why? What kind of motivation is involved in video game play, anyway?

Of course, part of it is just that game play is voluntary -- and if you get sick of one game, you can play or do something else. Also, games don't tend to involve high-level thinking and learning processes -- most are visual-spatial, involving reacting to things, making quick decisions, and maybe some strategy. But maybe the most engrossing aspect, compared to sitting in school, is that you get immediate feedback on your performance, and difficulty settings tend to be adjustable. You don't spend time sitting around waiting, unless you have a slow computer. And you are free to get as far as you want, without having to wait for the class to catch up.

You're right. I've learned in a psychology class that externatal motivators can make things once enjoyable less enjoyable. For instance, I have always wanted to learn about psychology, but though I was interested in the subject when I took the class, some of the things I had to do (papers and textbook reading) discourged me some. Especially since I had a really picky professor who demanded that papers be a certain way. That took some enjoyment out of learning the material, even though I was always interested in it. The fact that I had to learn it their way, and not my way sucked. Also, knowing I had to get it done a certain way or I would fail the class, having to take it over again, put stress on me to get the work done, whether I learned the subject or not.

HOWEVER, I don't think points are always discourging. They just alter the motivation, but they can make learning a topic you could care less about somewhat more interesting. In the past, I just looked at it like a game, where I had to get a certain amount of points to win. It may not have the visual effects as video games do, and I may not get immediate feedback, but since most games are based on the point structure, by looking at it like a game, it can make it bearable.
05-13-2009 05:08 AM
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SoulRiser Offline
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Post: #5
Re: Intrinsic Motivation & Self-Determination

Quote:I dug up an article that's relevant: "To produce or not to produce? Understanding boredom and the honor in underachievement." most of the text available here.
"Research findings suggest that a student does not have to be gifted to be bored in school but it helps"
Laugh

Quote:It's possible to encourage intrinsic motivation. If you get someone interested in something, by showing how it's worthwhile, interesting, fun, or useful, they can come to experience intrinsic motivation, whether it's physics, a game, or whatever.
True, but something about that still bothers me. It's indirect. You can get someone started in something, but the intrinsic motivation still comes from them, you can't rightly take any credit for it. And trying to encourage intrinsic motivation in an institution that is almost entirely based on extrinsic motivation just seems silly to me. It just doesn't "fit".

But yeah, that was a really good article. Why is it cut off anyway?

Quote:The wikipedia article claims that enjoying playing basketball is intrinsic, while making money is extrinsic. What if you love playing poker for money?
Yeah, the line does get kinda blurry. But I don't think it really matters when it's blurry so much, it just means there's a bit of both involved. If a person has only extrinsic motivation for everything that they ever do, I can't imagine that person being very happy.

Quote:Speaking of motivation... consider video games -- which can be extremely motivating. Many video games are structured around an equivalent of points, grades and credits -- yet they're fun to play. Why? What kind of motivation is involved in video game play, anyway?
I'm going to attempt to answer this so that I can figure out why I'm so addicted to Diablo 2 online. I think it's mostly the items in this case, and the fact that everything is random. It's never exactly the same each time, and you never know what you're going to find. Some things are really damn rare, so it's really great when you find something like that. In single player, you're the only one that it matters to, really. But in multiplayer, you can go in the chat room and say "OMG guys, I just found a (whatever)!". And then you'll probably get people asking you to trade for it or something. The other motivating part is your character, and trying to make him/her as strong as possible by putting skill points in the right places and getting the best items you can find. The better your character, the more other people will want to play with you, and the more you can actually kill stuff in the hardest difficulty on your own without dying too much. There's also a ladder system which pretty much only tracks the experience level of each character, which doesn't really say much. It's handy for getting a list of everyone though, but I try not to take it too seriously. It's less fun when you just play for getting experience, because the most effective way to get experience is to do the same thing over and over again. Which is kinda boring.

Sooo basically... it's about being the best you can be at something, while that "something" is slightly different each time and you never know exactly what's going to happen next. I ended up rambling and am not sure that the above wall of text is even relevant anymore, but whatever. Laugh

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05-13-2009 07:08 AM
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xcriteria Offline
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Re: Intrinsic Motivation & Self-Determination

The article is cut off just because that site makes money off of selling the whole article, I guess. A lot of academic papers are hard to find at all aside from abstracts. Anyway, if anyone's interested I have a copy.

Wow, you really are addicted! Lol. Well, so, is that intrinsic or extrinsic motivation? The line becomes blurred particularly when something is addictive.

SoulRiser Wrote:True, but something about that still bothers me. It's indirect. You can get someone started in something, but the intrinsic motivation still comes from them, you can't rightly take any credit for it. And trying to encourage intrinsic motivation in an institution that is almost entirely based on extrinsic motivation just seems silly to me. It just doesn't "fit".

I agree about the last part, promoting intrinsic learning in an overwhelmingly extrinsic-based institution doesn't "fit." But, at the same time, I'd be happy to have more structure regarding my learning. School is way over-structured (in a fixed, impersonal way), but purely learning on one's own can be difficult for some of us, if it's not something that just happens to captivate our interest. There are subjects I'm really interested in, and I'd like to learn more of the details of them, but I need something in between pure unschooling and regular schooling. Something with a video-game-like quality.

As you point out, especially in virtual worlds, games tend to have some aspects of randomness and things like "high value items" which don't always appear. The games mix things up, and provide a social aspect as well. Why can't that be done with learning?

Well, it could be. I guess you have to distinguish, though, between that kind of motivation -- which really is extrinsic (even if it's all simulated) as well as intrinsic, and learning at a higher level that you pursue for its own sake.

The social aspect is yet another kind of motivation, and also something that can be applied to games, to learning, to involvement in drugs, or whatever else. But it's so hard to achieve in learning. Again, where's the middle ground between impersonal institutional learning, and isolated self-study?
05-13-2009 09:20 AM
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xcriteria Offline
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Re: Intrinsic Motivation & Self-Determination

What video games have to teach us about learning and literacy
Code:
Good computer and video games like System Shock 2, Deus Ex, Pikmin, Rise of Nations, Neverwinter Nights, and Xenosaga: Episode 1 are learning machines. They get themselves learned and learned well, so that they get played long and hard by a great many people. This is how they and their designers survive and perpetuate themselves. If a game cannot be learned and even mastered at a certain level, it won't get played by enough people, and the company that makes it will go broke. Good learning in games is a capitalist-driven Darwinian process of selection of the fittest. Of course, game designers could have solved their learning problems by making games shorter and easier, by dumbing them down, so to speak. But most gamers don't want short and easy games. Thus, designers face and largely solve an intriguing educational dilemma, one also faced by schools and workplaces: how to get people, often young people, to learn and master something that is long and challenging--and enjoy it, to boot.

Video games and the future of learning
05-13-2009 10:24 AM
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SoulRiser Offline
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Re: Intrinsic Motivation & Self-Determination

That sounds perfectly accurate, and now that you mention it, that's precisely why so many "hardcore" gamers hate EA, because they dumb down their games so much that any random n00b can beat more experienced players even on their first attempt. However, EA games is the most massive game company ever, and makes loads of money. So it isn't necessarily true that mastery is required. EA gets around this by making sequels to everything every single year, which also undermines the mastery thing because when the sequel comes out, most people drop the "old" game and play the new one instead. So any "hardcore" fans of the old one will be left behind if they don't want to "move on" to the new game because they were still discovering new tricks/strategies/whatever in the old game. Kinda like bells that signal the end of class.

I never really thought school and games had this much in common. Laugh

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05-13-2009 11:14 AM
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xcriteria Offline
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Post: #9
Re: Intrinsic Motivation & Self-Determination

Haha yeah, even works when re-reversed:

Code:
That sounds perfectly accurate, and now that you mention it, that's precisely why so many "hardcore" learners hate school because they dumb down their learning so much that any random n00b can beat more hardcore learners even on their first attempt. However, the school system is the most massive company ever, and gets loads of money. So it isn't necessarily true that mastery is required. School gets around this by making sequels to everything every single year, which also undermines the mastery thing because when the sequel comes out, most people drop the "old" learning and learn the new one instead. So any "hardcore" fans of the old one will be left behind if they don't want to "move on" to the new learning because they were still discovering new tricks/strategies/whatever in the old subject.

Laugh
05-14-2009 02:51 AM
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SoulRiser Offline
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Re: Intrinsic Motivation & Self-Determination

lulz. That is pretty amusing indeed.

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05-14-2009 11:50 AM
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Post: #11
Re: Intrinsic Motivation & Self-Determination

indeed it is.

Just wondering, what is the code used for?

Code:
Does it just make it a different font?

[Image: spooky-1.jpg]

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05-14-2009 01:09 PM
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xcriteria Offline
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Re: Intrinsic Motivation & Self-Determination

"code" is kinda like "quote", but it's used if you don't want HTML or PHP or whatever to get interpreted, I guess. I just used it 'cause it's a different font from "quote"
05-14-2009 01:33 PM
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Re: Intrinsic Motivation & Self-Determination

Okay, to add to the video game thing, here is what bugs me. The teachers act like you are learning NOTHING from playing those games. Yet, they claim sitting down reading textbooks, copying down what they say, and coloring crap is teaching stuff. I've heard the arguement "well, it's teaching them to manage their time well and be able to accomplish goals". But that's what video games can teach too!

In starcraft, I've learned to manage resources and plan ahead of time (making strategies). I've learned how to handle things under stress and also when to accept defeat (like when you're surrounded in a small corner, with no minerals left). It may be "just a game", but aren't those school projects "just projects"? The only difference is that video games don't teach about the history of American Indians or any of that crap, but they sure as hell are a lot more fun and interactive than textbooks!

And Pokemon cards, that's another one. As a kid, I was a huge pokefan. I loved collecting cards, but most of all, the gameplay was a blast. The collecting, trading, and fighting it out was just so much fun, and involved a lot of thinking and planning ahead. "I got to get that blastoise so my deck can be complete, maybe I should trade my Charizard for it". Then you use the cards to battle it out with another pokemon master.

There's a reason those games are fun. Once I related it to real life stuff (like completing college work, looking for a job, or managing money), I can actually enjoy the tasks that were boring by looking at it like a game. But from my memory, teachers have this belief that if something is fun and kids want to do it, than it's not productive (or at least some of the teachers I've had).
05-17-2009 06:34 AM
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Re: Intrinsic Motivation & Self-Determination

Yeah! Video games are given zero credit, when in many ways they develop skills that are never taught in school. And while none of it is rigorous academic knowledge, you certainly can develop skills and even discipline in the process of game-playing.

I found an interesting paper that's not super-academic, but it summarizes a lot of research on video games & school: http://www.futurelab.org.uk/resources/do...rning2.pdf -- it'd be a great resource for anyone who wants to write a paper for school on the subject, or make arguments regarding games backed up by research.

One catch is that many people may play games more mindlessly than others. But some teachers are exploring using regular video games in classrooms.

Also... what I'm looking to do is create web technology that is more for teaching academic topics than commercial games are, but that still sparks interest and immersion at a far higher level than a textbook and some worksheets. (Even if the same content is taught.) One of the coolest things about (some) games is that although you have a structure of rewards/tasks/goals, you're free to explore a virtual world, discover new things, choose what to do at a certain time, etc. So why can't it be like that with learning? Wikipedia is kind of the closest thing to that, and online quizzes, but I'm thinking something bigger, more interactive, and also incorporating video. Something so interesting that people would use it even if they weren't forced to.
05-17-2009 08:16 AM
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Re: Intrinsic Motivation & Self-Determination

Interesting article, I didn't read the whole thing, but I read a small part where they debunked some of the criticisms of video games.

They are too caught up in old fasion traditional learning, which with todays technology, is NOT the end all or be all. It sounds like the ones opposed to alternative learning are afraid of change. They are the types that would say "well in my day, we only had board games" to which I say, "Well it's not YOUR day any more is it?". Same problem with adults criticizing children for playing the computer or watching TV instead of reading a book.
05-17-2009 09:25 AM
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Re: Intrinsic Motivation & Self-Determination

Exactly. I LOVE to play a WWII strategy game called Blitzkrieg. You learn historic battles, how and when to distribute supplies & reinforcements, strengths and weaknesses of certain vehicles/weapons/units, and what weapons & equipment each country used. And, I have loads of fun. More than can be said for school.

And EA is good and bad, they make good sports games, Burnout, Medal of Honor. But to play multiplayer, you need to join 'EA Nation'. Pain in the ass.

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05-18-2009 01:22 AM
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Re: Intrinsic Motivation & Self-Determination

Why are board games okay but not video games? Maybe it's just because electronics are too newfangled and are thus clearly sin.

I used to pwn at video games. Then my father said to stop playing them because they were bad for me. He really meant that they waste time. And then I stopped because when I would play, I would be afraid that I was wasting time and afraid of him seeing me playing. And now I don't like video games. I get bored when I play them with friends at uni, where my parents have no chance of finding out that I was playing. :waah:

I'll have to read everything that was posted here.
06-21-2009 09:57 PM
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