Master of Instructional Technology

Course Syllabus

Note: MIT 501 course syllabus and assignments are adopted from Professor John Keller’s Course Syllabus for EDP 5217 (PRINCIPLES OF LEARNER MOTIVATION)--the course that he taught at Florida State University for more than 15 years. In spring of 2009, Professor Keller granted me permission to use his course syllabus, schedule and assignments.

Course Description

Reviews and analyzes theories of motivation in relation to instructional design strategies. The primary emphasis is on the motivation to learn and techniques for stimulating and sustaining learner motivation.
MIT 501 is a Focus course for Instructional Technology Master’s and Certificate programs. The course is open to any graduate student and other professionals who want to design motivating instruction based on an application of motivational concepts, theories, and design approaches.


Dr. Mahnaz Moallem, Professor
Instructional Technology Program
349 Education Building

Office Phone:   962-4183
Office Fax:        962-3609
Course Web on Blackboard Learn:

Course Readings

Keller, J. M. (2010). Motivational Design for Learning and Performance: The ARCS Model Approach, Springer. ISBN: 9781441965790. Also see Keller's website []
Other Readings. All other readings contained in the reading list below and listed in Course Schedule are available electronically on the Blackboard Website under “Course Readings & Resources.”

Other Readings (Other Than Textbook)


Herzberg, F. (1968). One more time: How do you motivate employees? Harvard Business Review, Jan. - Feb., 55 -63.
Keller, J. M. (2008). First principles of motivation to learn and e3-learning. Distance Education, Vol. 29, No. 2, 175–185.

Keller, J. M. (1999). Motivation in cyber learning environments. Educational Technology International, 1(1), 7 – 30.

Kopp, T. (1982). Designing boredom out of instruction. NSPI Journal, May, 23 - 28.

Vidler, D.C. (1977). Curiosity. In S. Ball (Ed.), Motivation in education. New York: Academic Press.

Wlodkowski, R.J. (1985). Enhancing adult motivation to learn (Chapter 9: Incorporating motivational strategies into instructional plans). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.


The first two of the following readings were the first to describe the ARCS model including the ARCS design process and are widely quoted. They are very practical in focus and will probably be helpful while working on your motivational design project.

Keller, J.M. (1987a). Strategies for stimulating the motivation to learn. Performance and Instruction, October, 1 - 7.

Keller, J.M. (1987b). The systematic process of motivational design. Performance and Instruction, November/December, 1 - 7.

Keller, J.M. (2000, February). How to integrate learner motivation planning into lesson planning: The ARCS model approach. Paper presented at VII Semanario, Santiago, Cuba.

Course Goals

The course purposes include:

  • Describe characteristics of curiosity-related concepts and create and analyze an example of a curiosity arousing event.
  • Apply concepts of (“Motives and Values”) and confidence (“Causality and Competence”) in real-life examples.
  • Explain and give examples of a few concepts related to intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.
  • Use the systematic motivational design process to prepare design specifications for motivational solution or enhancement to an instructional situation.
  • Apply a set of motivational design specifications to the enhancement of a set of instructional materials.

Course Assignments

Motivational Design Project (40 points)
Working individually or in a team of two, you will use the systematic motivational design process to prepare a motivational solution or enhancement to an instructional situation. Each report will have specific components. Specific instructions are in the Assignments folder and in “Motivational Design Project” on Blackboard course website.

Independent Short Papers (20 points)

  • Curiosity Paper (10 points.)

This paper requires you to describe several characteristics of curiosity-related concepts and to create and analyze an example of a curiosity arousing event.

  • Intrinsic/Extrinsic Motivation Paper (10 points)

For this assignment you will explain and give examples of a few concepts related to intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.

Active Reading & Participation

Building foundational knowledge is one of the major objectives of this course. This objective requires that you actively read and reflect on the selected reading materials. Active reading and reflecting mean that you: (1) create or join forum discussion for the topic, (2) facilitate and participate in the discussion by asking questions, reflecting and offering your insights and comments, and by critically analyzing and synthesizing the results of the discussion, and (3) participate in virtual class discussions and offer your thoughts and ideas.

Course Grading

The final course grade will be based upon the percentage of the total points accumulated (100 pts). There will be no midterm or final exam. Grades will be criterion-based. Assignments are graded on a basis of fixed criteria, quality, and creativity. Fulfilling the fixed criteria is necessary for a score in the A- or B range, but is not sufficient for an A. An A results from a level of quality or creativity that goes beyond the fixed criteria that define satisfactory achievement. Excessive and unexcused absences and/or lack of active participation will negatively influence course grade.
The following scale will be used to assign the letter grades.
A, A- = 90-100 means outstanding achievement; available only for the highest accomplishment.
B+, B, B- = 80- 89 means praiseworthy performance; definitely above average.
C+, C, C- = 70- 79 means average, awarded for satisfactory performance.
Individual grades in MIT 501 are based on the following activities:

Regular attendance and active participation

10 pts (10%)

Motivational Design Project

40 pts (40%)

Independent Short Papers

20 pts (20%)

Completion of Quizzes

30 pts (30%)


Course Policies

Special Needs: If for any reason you have needs for special accommodations to fulfill class requirements and succeed in this class, contact me between the first class and second class by phone or e-mail. Your special needs may be related to physical disabilities, learning disabilities (see additional information—Disabilities on UNCW website), or lacking prerequisite knowledge and skills for the course. If you would need special accommodations due to unexpected events in your personal life during the course of the semester, please contact me as soon as possible.
Disabilities: If you have a disability and need reasonable accommodation in this course, you should inform me of this fact in writing within the first week of class or as soon as possible. If you have not already done so, you must register with the Office of Disability Services in Westside Hall (extension 7555) and obtain a copy of your Accommodation Letter. You should then meet with me to make mutually agreeable arrangements based on the recommendations of the Accommodation Letter.
Academic Honor Code: The UNCW Provost has asked all UNCW faculty to make reference -- in course syllabi -- to the 'Academic Honor Code' which can be found in the 2014-2015 Student Handbook and Code of Student Life, Section V. -- Academic Honor Code. Please regard this as a reminder that all UNCW students and faculty are held to the terms of the Academic Honor Code.