Evaluation of different teaching interventions to motivate agricultural students in the lecture of animal health

Grahofer, Alexander; Suter, Roman (2020). Evaluation of different teaching interventions to motivate agricultural students in the lecture of animal health (In Press). Learning and Teaching Journal ETH Zürich

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Intrinsic motivation is an important factor for successful and sustainable learning. Self-determination theory postulates that intrinsic motivation depends on the fulfilment of three innate psychological needs: the need for self-determination, the need for competence and the need for social belonging. Teachers should therefore try to meet these three basic psychological needs in their classes, because students who are intrinsically motivated are working more actively during the lectures and therefore tend to learn more effectively. To achieve this goal, it is necessary to know the background of the student population. Over the past decades the population of students in agricultural sciences has changed. Nowadays, the students in this field have little or no background in agriculture, resulting in a high diversity of previous knowledge and interests. These changes in student demographics require several new teaching strategies to motivate the individual student in the lecture. Therefore, the aim of this study is to describe and evaluate specific teaching interventions used during a lecture of animal health to support the students’ intrinsic motivation. By means of the MUSIC® Inventory and a questionnaire with open questions at the end of the semester, students were asked about their perception of different interventions during the course. The students’ motivation in the class of animal health was assessed with high values in all five components of the MUSIC® Inventory. Each of the implemented interventions increased the motivation of the students in class. Usefulness and interest seem to be the main drivers for motivation among students in this study. Therefore, interventions which activate these two components, such as field trips with exercises and group discussions, should be regularly used in teaching at the university to improve the success of students.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


Grahofer, Alexander


09 Interdisciplinary Units > Centre for University Continuing Education
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine (DKV) > Swine Clinic

UniBE Contributor:

Grahofer, Alexander and Suter, Roman


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




ETH Zürich




Roman Suter

Date Deposited:

30 Apr 2020 10:18

Last Modified:

30 Apr 2020 10:18



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