4 Ways to Motivate Healthcare Students to Learn in the Classroom

applying the ARCS model of learning avidity medical designHealthcare can be a challenging subject to learn, especially since there are so many areas of healthcare that require fundamental knowledge of medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, medical coding, and other areas of allied health. If you are working as an instructional designer, especially if you are developing courses in healthcare, you must develop courses that not only educate, it also stimulate and motivate. One of the most fundamental methods of motivational design is John Keller’s ARCS Model. John Keller’s ARCS Model of Motivational Design includes four elements that are designed to motivate students to learn: Attention, Relevance, Confidence, and Satisfaction. Innovative educators have long used the ARCS Model to improve learning outcomes by stimulating and maintaining student motivation. The ARCS Model becomes even more critical from the standpoint of healthcare instructional design because a lack of learning motivation can have a detrimental impact on patient care.

Let’s take a look at how the four elements of the ARCS Model, Attention, Relevance, Confidence, and Satisfaction, would be implemented in the context of healthcare instructional design:

1. Attention – Keller uses “inquiry arousal” to gain the learner’s attention. Inquiry arousal means incorporating questions or problems in the curriculum that are designed to be solved by a group of students. Case studies that require active participation, such as those dealing with specific patient scenarios, diseases, or other illnesses can be useful in gaining and sustaining attention.

2. Relevance – The curriculum should include examples that are relevant to connect to the student’s own experience(s). According to this element of the ARCS Model, if students can correlate their prior experience(s) to the new skills that they are learning, they will be more motivated to learn.

3. Confidence – Learners must have confidence in their ability to succeed if they complete the course. They must know that they will learn valuable skills that they can transfer to the real-world environment and immediately apply in their normal workday.

4. Satisfaction – Keller states that learning should be rewarding so that students see the value of what is being taught. This makes them more motivated to learn. One way to increase learner satisfaction is to allow students to practice the new skill being taught or to apply the new knowledge being attained in a live setting. For example, healthcare practitioners could demonstrate methods of gathering vital statistics, comparing test results, and analyzing recorded data in the doctor’s office or triage unit.

Contact us to learn more about the ARCS Model of Motivational Design, and how we can incorporate this model into your healthcare curriculum to motivate your students to learn.

If you are interested in taking an online healthcare course, consider enrolling in the course entitled, “How to Learn in the Healthcare Classroom (and ANY Classroom) (in 10 EASY Steps!)” offered by Avidity Medical Design Academy. Click here to learn more about this course. If you are interested in purchasing scented candles and soaps that promote health and wellness through inspirational messages, visit Avidity Medical Scentations to see our current product offerings. 

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