Technology alone does not boost student motivation, says OUP study

A report compiled by Oxford University Press in consultation with several leading experts concludes online English language teaching cannot rely on technology alone to engage students

Technology alone does not increase student motivation for English language learning without proper planning, use and teacher support. 

That is the conclusion of a major new paper from the Oxford University Press, entitled ‘Using Technology to Motivate Learners’.

Says the paper, regardless of student proficiency and enthusiasm for technology in non-education settings, matching that enthusiasm during online English language learning requires careful implementation. 

The findings further highlight the preeminent role training and teachers play in education, even as technology’s role expands further into the sector. 

The paper concludes that teachers that consider carefully how best to adopt technology into their approach can have a transformative effect on student motivation. The effectiveness of teacher technology use is linked to the support received from their institution. 

The findings come from a survey of some leading academics in the field. 

The report argues technology can make a “significant impact” on motivation by increasing learners’ “sense of autonomy, relatedness, and competence”. Formal and informal learning spaces benefit from well-integrated, “context-specific” technology, but this “requires careful preparation and appropriate support for both teachers and learners”. 

Hayo Reinders, an TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) professor and the report’s lead author, said: “It has been a privilege to lead on this critical piece of work and support the greater understanding of technology and motivation within the English language learning community. 

“The value of technology exists only in the good pedagogical use that teachers make of it, and I hope that through our findings we can inspire and enable teachers to support learning in new and powerful ways.” 

Read more: Siemens Connected Curriculum programme expands UK footprint

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