What is your Motivation Style?

Learning anything can be challenging, especially when exploring a field like electronics. You may have heard of the idea of different learning styles, and it can be helpful to become aware of which one you are closest to when choosing the types of resources you utilize for your learning process.


Image from www.eduhk.hk.

These styles address people’s ability to learn, and do an excellent job directing people towards what kind of resources that will be the most helpful for them. For example, if I am a visual or auditory learner, I would probably prefer to learn from material presented in a lecture or video. We have previously delved in depth into the concept of learning styles and how they relate to electronics in our “How to Evangelize Engineering to Non-Engineers” post, so make sure to check it out!

But today we will be examining the other half of the academic success equation, the motivation aspect. Motivation is often written off as simply something that one should have inherently, but as I and many other procrastinating types can attest, finding and managing motivation can at times be an art in itself.

A motivated learner, in her natural habitat.

To address this, we have taken a similar approach to the idea of motivation as was taken to preferred styles of learning. Below we have complied some common “Motivation Style Profiles” as well as some specific resources and tips for each archetype!

*Keep in mind many people can possess multiple aspects of each archetype, and you do not have to fit just one!

The Fundamentally Motivated: Able to take systematic approaches, this type of student accepts and works well within whatever constraints they are given. They tend to do well with structured classroom learning, as well as direct access to material. They tend to be very goal-oriented, and a good strategy for this motivation profile is to keep an eye on long-term goals to supplement short-term lack of interest. They tend to be very successful in school, but can at times they can lack passion if they feel they are learning for “someone else”. To combat this, one can try picking a project or platform they feel particularly comfortable or excited about, and posting it online to get feedback. It is always exciting to have others comment on your work, and can provide a motivation boost.

The Insatiably Motivated: Motivated by an ravenous desire to learn and simply know more, this motivation style works really well with direct material and other avenues for self-teaching and exploration, such as videos. However one downside to this seemingly endless energy is that if they do run out of steam, it can be difficult to continue with assignments that are not of deep interest. Similar to the above profile, one solution to this is to keep and eye on what is required for later acquisition of knowledge, and use that to solider through what might seem  boring at the time.

The “My Way” Motivated: Must do things “their way”, and while it can be tricky to make classroom material their own, it is a very worthwhile pursuit. They can also often be motivated by non-academic outlets to produce projects and learn (such as social, familial, online, personal). May subconsciously finds self saying “this doesn’t apply to me” because they have their understandings and ideas on how things work, but it is always good to keep an open mind especially when learning electronics. This profile may feel like they tend to learn “the hard way” or in other words, they might feel they can only accept an understanding of the world if they obtained it themselves. It is useful to challenge oneself to find ways to make material their own, one great way to do this is to explore projects and join communities where they can interact with people who can help hold them accountable!

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About Miranda Hansen

I enjoy creative writing, engineering, thinking, building, exploring and sharing with people. Huge aficionado of spending time thinking about things that “don’t matter.” I am very interested in unconstrained creativity. I love cross-discipline ideas and all of their integration into complete original systems. And I like things that do things.

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