Faculty of Education

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

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FacultyFaculty of Education
OfferedNot offered in 2013


Recent research emphasises the interrelatedness of motivational, emotional and cognitive aspects in learning situations. In this unit, we focus on different theories and models of motivation and emotion; and how learner characteristics and the environment shape learning outcomes: including performance, participation, engagement and persistence. We examine how learner characteristics such as age, gender, social class, and ethnicity might produce individual variations in motivation over time. We also examine how different contextual factors (e.g., teacher / educator behaviour, class and school characteristics / workplace characteristics) facilitate or constrain motivation.


  1. Describe and critically discuss major motivation-related theories introduced in the unit, and relate these to learning outcomes.
  2. Read relevant theoretical and empirical studies with discernment, and evaluate the utility of relevant research given the internal and external validity of the research design.
  3. Understand and critically assess the contextual influences of learning environment, family and peer contexts, task features, gender, ethnicity and developmental stage on learner motivations and emotions.
  4. Demonstrate understanding of the pedagogical relevance and benefits of the psychological theories by applying key concepts to develop facilitative learning settings.


The sum of 8000 words written work or the equivalent will be required across the assignments listed below:

1. Class presentations and summaries

2. Final Paper

Contact hours

3 hours per week