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How Can I Reduce Student Apathy and Increase Motivation?

Presenters: Ken Alford, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Colonel, U.S. Army (Ret.) and Tyler Griffin, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Brigham Young University

This course is worth 1 hour (0.1 CEU) of professional development. A certificate of completion can be printed once the program has been completed.


About this Course


It’s a question that probably makes you cringe.

The only reason your students are paying attention is because something might show up on an exam.

It’s not because they care about what you’re saying.

And if whatever you are talking about is not going to be on the test? You can probably cue the texting, the daydreaming, and the dozing.

Student apathy. It’s just a fact of life in higher education.

Or is it?

Certainly different students have different motivation levels, and some students won’t care no matter what you do.

But they might just be the exceptions and not the rule. In fact, you have more control than you might realize, and there are things you can do to improve student focus and connection to the course. 

If you want to learn proven strategies that get your students more engaged, you’ll want to watch How Can I Reduce Student Apathy and Increase Motivation?


The two program presenters will help you recognize that part of your job is getting students to recognize why they should care.

When you increase the relevance of your course content so your students understand why it matters—to their degrees and to their lives—they naturally grow more engaged in what you are teaching.

When you are finished with this program, you will:

  • Understand the difference between the process and the products of learning in order to help students achieve both
  • Recognize that some causes of student apathy are beyond your control
  • Be able to identify the causes of apathy that are within your control
  • Be able to identify, implement, and adapt techniques that can increase relevance in your course design, your syllabus, your classroom, your assignments, and your exams
  • Have the courage to try new things—and even have a little fun while you’re at it


It is your job to teach, but it is their job to learn.

This video will help you identify what you can do to increase the relevance in five areas of your teaching—course design, syllabus, classroom environment, assignments, and exams—so that students grow more committed to and responsible for their own learning.

How Can I Reduce Student Apathy and Increase Motivation? will help you focus on big-picture synthesis.

When you put concepts and ideas together instead of just breaking them apart, you can more easily convey why your course content matters in the grand scheme of life.