Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation


Alexandra Favretto

About Me


This is my second semester here at UAlbany. I'm currently substitute teaching and working as an RBT with an 8 years old boy with Autism. I'm very intrigued with learning more on how to incorporate technology into the classroom and I'm excited to see where my technology journey takes me.

My Topic and Purpose

Topic: Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation

Purpose: In this mini course you will learn about two main types of student motivation, how reinforcements and punishments can impact student motivation levels, and the advantages and disadvantages to both types. This is a topic that is useful for all teachers and staff in an educational setting.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this mini-course students will:

• identify two main types of motivation

• recognize how reinforcements and punishments impact student motivation levels

• describe the advantages and disadvantages of reinforcements and punishments

Needs Assessment

Instructional Problem: Appropriate behaviors play an immense role in the learning process. Students must be able to behave appropriately in diverse setting in order for learning to be effective and, for motivation levels to remain high. Throughout a student’s career there will be challenges that he may face; whether that challenge be behavioral or academic. Reinforcements and punishments may need to be implemented in order for the student to reach his fullest potential; socially, emotionally and academically (motivation). Student motivation levels may decrease if/when a challenge arises. From my observations across grade levels K to sixth I’ve found that there is a high increase in the number of unwanted behaviors in the classroom, as the years proceed. The main problem I will be focusing on is, the lack of and/or misuse of, reinforcements and punishments. The lack of and/or misuse of reinforcements and punishments can heavily impact student motivation levels.

What is to be Learned: This mini-course will reveal two types of motivation and how reinforcements and punishments can impact motivation levels. Participants in the course will be exposed to the advantages and disadvantages of various reinforcements and punishments. As well as, when it will be appropriate to use a particular reinforcement or punishment, if at all. The scenarios in the lessons will provide explicit examples that learners can reflect back to in the future.

Analysis of the Learner and Context

The Learner: This mini-course can be used and knowledge gained can be implemented by educators and all people who are working to provide students with a safe and effective learning environment. While incorporating the usage of reinforcements and punishments into the classroom may seem time-consuming and ineffective, the added effort and continued use of the reinforcement or punishment (as long as it is appropriate for the behavior) will enable the educator to keep students safe and aid in reaching their individual fullest potential. Particiaptns will be encouraged to share their ideas as well as, ask for suggestions to particular scenarios. In which I will then, have participants reflect on my examples in the Units and share what they feel might be the most appropriate, based on the behavior and their newly gained knowledge.

Instructional Context: This course will be delivered to participants through the online-site only. It will be available at all times for the convenience of the learner. All materials within the course will be accessible by the learner through online links and tabs. Learners will have access to real-life examples of educators and their usage of reinforcements and punishments for motivation. As well as, researcher studies related to the issue. These studies will provide evidence for the examples that I provide to the learner and aid in the decisions of appropriate reinforcement and/or punishment selection.

Exploring the Instructional Problem and Solution: Although this course is entirely conducted online, students will have the opportunity to assess their practices after reviewing all points in this mini-course. The printable tool will be used for learners to assess their own practices and determine if their making appropriate choices when selecting reinforcements and punishments for a particular behavior.

Performance-Based Objectives

Learners will:

- interact with various online webpages and tools

- assess their own learning through a printable tool (should be completed and uploaded to the assessment/discussion page)

- apply their knowledge after the exploration of each unit.

Task Analysis


Unit One Objective Students will identify with the two main types of motivation.

  • Lesson Objective: Students will reflect on their own knowledge of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. They will make express how/if they've used them in their own classrooms.


Unit Two Objective Students will examine the impact that reinforcements and punishments have on motivation levels.

  • Lesson Objective: Students will justify the positives and negatives on the usage of reinforcements and punishments.


Unit Three Objective Students will identify the advantages and disadvantages to using reinforcements and punishments in the classroom.

  • Lesson One Objective. Students will assess their own usage of reinforcements and punishments in their classroom.

Additionally, students will complete a survey that will enable them to reflect on their own practices as well as, the material covered in this mini-course.

Curriculum Map

Map out the sequence of learning units and activities to achieve the defined objectives.

Af c.m..png
Unit 1: Two Main Types of Motivation
Unit 2: Do Reinforcements and Punishments have an Impact?
Unit 3: Advantages and Disadvantages

References and Resources

Delong, M., & Winter, D. (2002). Learning to teach and teaching to learn mathematics resources for professional development. Washington, DC: Mathematical Association of America.

McLeod, S. A. (2015). Skinner - Operant Conditioning. Retrieved from

Miller, J. R., Lerman, D. C., & Fritz, J. N. (2010). An Experimental Analysis of Negative Reinforcement Contingencies for Adult-Delivered Reprimands. Journal Of Applied Behavior Analysis, 43(4), 769-773.

Newby, T. J. (1991). Classroom Motivation: Strategies of First-Year Teachers. Journal Of Educational Psychology, 83(2), 195-200.

Perle, J. G. (2016). Teacher-Provided Positive Attending to Improve Student Behavior. TEACHING Exceptional Children, 48(5), 250-257.