The intrinsic-motivation course design method

Geoffrey L. Herman, David E. Goldberg, Kyle F. Trenshaw, Mark Somerville, Jonathan Stolk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Because engineering faculty seldom use research-based instructional strategies, the engineering education community has become increasingly concerned with how to help faculty sustainably integrate education research into their teaching practices. We developed the Intrinsic-Motivation (IM) Course Design Method to make motivation theory accessible to faculty and to help faculty think more concretely about the costs that demotivate them and make their course designs untenable. Our course design method complements existing course design methods by providing an approach to designing for motivational outcomes. In this paper, we describe the IM Course Design Method and then illustrate how this method was used to refine the design of a sophomore-level engineering course that enrolled over 200 students. We then present evaluation evidence from this course to suggest that application of the method can increase students' intrinsic motivation in engineering courses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)558-574
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Engineering Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2017


  • Course design
  • Diffusion of innovation
  • Intrinsic motivation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • General Engineering


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