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Motivating students in the classroom is hard enough. Online learning increases the challenge. So whether you are teaching math or chess, how can you help students stay on task?

A recent article by Elissa Strauss on CNN Health outlines the difficulties parents face in helping their children learn at home. Experts offer insight on how motivation works and Strauss cites this quote from a 2018 paper from the Center of the Developing Child.

“From infancy onward, effort is required to sustain motivation, but success must be possible. They lose motivation when a task is too easy, but also when it is so difficult as to be insurmountable,” the authors wrote.

The author gleans the following tips from health experts and educators about helping students find the motivation needed for learning. They include:

  • Do more by doing less.
  • Make sure they have time to play.
  • Help kids think big.
  • Reward the process, not the action.

Even teachers and coaches who believe that chess offers its own educational benefits understand that students do not automatically perceive those benefits for themselves. As you plan your next virtual chess lesson, consider Strauss’ tips. Then build in the kinds of activities for motivating students that can extend beyond the chessboard to other subject areas.

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