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Motivating Gen Z Learners: What Parents and Teachers Need to Know

Understand how to promote motivation in Gen Z learners to achieve your teaching goals with a positive educational experience.

Motivating Gen Z Learners: What Parents and Teachers Need to Know

  • 4 weeks

  • 3 hours per week

  • Digital certificate when eligible

  • Introductory level

Find out more about how to join this course

Explore the learning styles that suit Gen Z

Gen Z learners are between nine and twenty-two years old, making up the majority of students currently in the education system.

On this four-week course, you’ll learn to better understand Gen Z and importantly, what motivates them to learn.

Whether you’re a parent, teacher, or professional working closely with Gen Z, this course will help you build a repertoire of strategies to enhance motivation in Gen Z learners.

It will equip you with the skills and knowledge of motivational theories and their application in real-life contexts.

Learn different teaching approaches to increase motivation

Through various sessions, you’ll explore practical teaching approaches to get Gen Z’s ready and excited to learn.

You’ll explore key motivational concepts and the behaviourist approach to motivation to understand how learning is enhanced when basic needs are fulfilled.

Following the storyline of two children, Bob and Sarah, you’ll be presented with a variety of problem scenarios. These depict common motivational issues that you can resolve using the motivational principles taught on the course.

Overcome generational differences and make education positive

You’ll address variables that can affect motivation to learn such as generational differences, the neuroscience of learning, and diversity.

You’ll also examine positive psychology and mindfulness as a classroom tool. This course will put you in the right mindset to engage and motivate young people whilst achieving your own learning and teaching goals.


  • Week 1

    Aspects of Motivation

    • Welcome to the course

      Here we will introduce your learning outcomes, our team and begin our learning journey together.

    • Aspects of Motivation

      What are the elements that drive us to be motivated to complete tasks?

    • Identifying Motivational Factors

      Let's go deeper into Bob's story and look at the factors that motivate learners.

    • Theories of Motivation in Young People

      We explore amotivation and the different theories and approaches to motivating students.

    • Wrapping Up The Week

      Complete the weekly test and check in with Bob once more before we move on to new topics.

  • Week 2

    Needs-Based Theories of Motivation

    • Learning Outcomes

      Learn to identify the basic needs of learners, how to enhance the motivation to learn through fulfillment of basic needs and use some of the strategies to promote satisfaction of the basic needs to enhance learning motivation.

    • Humanistic Theory

      This section introduces the needs-based approach, which suggests that people are motivated by the desire to have their needs fulfilled.

    • Self-Determination Theory I

      This section expands on what you have learned about intrinsic and extrinsic motivation in the Humanistic Theory session.

    • Self-Determination Theory II

      This section further expands on what you have learned about intrinsic and extrinsic motivation in Self-Determination Theory I.

    • Wrapping Up The Week

      This week, we looked at the basic needs of learners, explained how intrinsic motivation to learn is enhanced when the needs are fulfilled, and introduced some of the strategies to promote the satisfaction of these needs.

  • Week 3

    Mindsets and Causal Attributions for Success and Failure

    • Learning Outcomes

      Learn about mindsets, how you can promote them in children and students and how to increase learner motivation.

    • Mindsets I

      This week, learn two types of mindsets that can be cultivated i.e. fixed or growth mindset.

    • Mindsets II

      This session further expands on what you have learned about cultivating mindsets in Mindsets I.

    • Causal Attributions

      Learn about the effects of causal attributions on motivation.

    • Wrapping Up The Week

      It is important for parents and teachers to understand children’s mindsets and the attributions they make, as it affects motivation and will impact their performance in school.

  • Week 4

    The Self-Regulated Learner

    • Learning Outcomes

      Learn about the construct of Self-Regulated Learning, an omnibus concept that paints a portrait of the expert learner.

    • What is Self-Regulated Learning (SRL)?

      This week, you will learn about the characteristics of Self-Regulated Learners (SRL), what it involves and how to promote SRL in children and students.

    • A Portrait of the Self-Regulated Learner

      Lindner and Harris (1992) describe self-regulated learners as those who possess a belief system that views knowledge as complex and evolving, rather than simple and fixed, and the knower as capable of self-modification.

    • Motivation and Emotion

      An important aspect of SRL is Motivation. Next, we will cover the aspect of ‘Emotion’ within the first dimension of SRL.

    • Cognition and Metacognition

      The two aspects in the second dimension of SRL are cognition and metacognition. Cognition refers to how individuals think when performing activities. Metacognition is a higher order form of cognition.

    • Strategic Action

      The final dimension of SRL is strategic action. Behaviourally, self-regulated learners select, structure and create environments that optimise learning. SRL individuals engage in iterative cycles of strategic action.

    • Promoting SRL I

      In this session, learn about strategies help to motivate our children and/or students in practising SRL at their own pace.

    • Promoting SRL II

      This session further expands on what we have learned about Promoting SRL in session I.

    • Wrapping Up The Week

      This week,we looked at the different components of SRL and how SRL contributes to learning and performance. All individuals can engage in some form of self-regulation, although the level of effectiveness may vary.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • State the key motivational concepts and approaches to motivation.
  • Explain how the motivation to learn is enhanced when the basic psychological needs are fulfilled.
  • Explain how our mindsets and attributions influence our motivation to learn.
  • Relate the above concepts to self-regulated learning.

Who is the course for?

This course is for parents and teachers who sometimes struggle to engage their students or children with learning. We’ll go through generational differences, the neuroscience of learning and some really practical teaching approaches to get Gen Z’s ready and excited to learn. We will touch on diversity within the classroom and positive psychology/mindfulness as a classroom tool. It’s all about mindset and this course won’t just teach you how to engage and motivate young people, it will put you in the right mindset to achieve your own learning and teaching goals.

Gen Z learners are between 9 and 22 years old, as such this course is targeted mainly at the teen years and from upper primary through to undergraduates.

Who developed the course?

Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

A research-intensive public university, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) has 33,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the Engineering, Business, Science, Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences, and Graduate colleges. It also has a medical school, the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, set up jointly with Imperial College London.

  • Established

  • Location

  • World ranking

    13Source: QS World University Rankings 2021

National Institute of Education

As an autonomous institute of the Nanyang Technological University, the National Institute of Education (NIE), Singapore, is Singapore’s national teacher education institute and plays a key role in the preparation of teachers and in the provision of teacher professional and school leadership development programmes.

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Choose the best way to learn for you!

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Automatically renews

Develop skills to further your career

  • Access to this course
  • Access to 1,000+ courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Tests to boost your learning
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Cancel for free anytime

Buy this course

$69/one-off payment

Fulfill your current learning need

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Tests to boost your learning
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Limited access


Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 6 Jan 2023

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

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