Motivating and Engaging Middle and High School Students

(Grades 6-12) / Flex Course

PDI Course Number: 107T02 / UCSD Course Number: EDUC40177


Course Description

Do you often struggle to get through to your students? No matter what you do and no matter how many different strategies you try, some students remain aloof and disinterested in the learning process. The fact of the matter is that both engagement and motivation are precursors to student success, but for a variety of different reasons, both tend to drop as students get older. This online course is designed for teachers in grades 6-12 who want to light that internal fire and re-ignite interest so that their students are intrinsically motivated to learn and engage. Teachers will learn about the basic framework of motivation as well as the science behind student motivation and engagement. Teachers will learn specific techniques for increasing motivation by creating a learner-centered classroom that allows students some appropriate voice and choice as well as allows them to set realistic goals they can achieve. Other suggestions for increasing engagement will be explored such as ways to make learning more meaningful. Classroom management issues will be addressed including the importance of teaching and supporting social and emotional skills. Finally, teachers will gain strategies for moving from student engagement to student empowerment, so they feel they have control over their own learning. By the end of this course, teachers will have solid strategies for increasing the engagement and motivation of their middle and high school students. This course is worth 3 ⅓ semester units/5 quarter units (50 hours of training) from University of California San Diego (UCSD) Division of Extended Studies. For detailed information on university credit, click here.

"I found the resources extremely valuable to keep my students actively engaged. The course text is also a great resource to have on-hand for future reference." - Muriel Allen-Fields


Enrollment Options

Course Only

$124 with the discount

Course with Credit from UCSD

$329 with the discount

This course is worth 3 ⅓ semester units or 5 quarter units of graduate-level credit from UCSD.

You have up to one year from the date you are enrolled to complete a flex course.


Click here to view the course syllabus.

Print our customized course approval form to share with your school district.

UCSD Course Number: EDUC40177
Unit One
  • The Mindset of Motivation
  • The Basic Framework of Motivation
  • Why Student Motivation and Engagement Matter
  • Assignment #1: Write an autobiography
  • Test #1
Unit Two
  • The Science of Motivation
  • Building a Unique Motivation Profile
  • The Importance of Social Status at School
  • Assignment #2: Article reflection
  • Test #2
Unit Three
  • Rigor: It's NOT a Four-Letter Word
  • Creating a Learner-Centered Classroom
  • Motivating and Engaging Students through Differentiation
  • Assignment #3: Share your expertise
  • Test #3
Unit Four
  • The Purpose and Power of Voice and Choice
  • Helping Students Make Good Choices
  • Goal Setting
  • Test #4
Unit Five
  • Strategies that Promote Active Learning
  • Making Learning Meaningful
  • The Importance of Social-Emotional Skills
  • Test #5
Unit Six
  • The Importance of Classroom Management
  • Moving from Engagement to Empowerment
  • Engaging Students with Limited Resources
  • Assignment #4: Respond to classroom scenarios
  • Assignment #5: Course Reflection

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