Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2015


Dr. Marguerite Doman


Previous research has identified a positive correlation between motivation and academic achievement (Bruinsma 2004). The ARCS Model of Instructional Design (Keller 1987) identifies four major conditions for motivation: Attention, Relevance, Confidence, and Satisfaction. Attention may be thought of as the precursor to learning; if a student is not paying attention to the material being presented, learning cannot take place. Getting attention can be trivial, but sustaining attention is difficult. WUtopia! is an online learning platform developed at Winthrop University designed to improve student learning outcomes. The platform delivers video lectures alongside questions addressing key concepts. The questions are tied to particular timestamps in the video. Previous research demonstrated that students who use the platform perform better on post-lecture quizzes than students who only view the lecture (Grossoehme et al). We hypothesize that the Wutopia! platform more effectively engages the student’s attention, thereby increasing motivation to learn and leading to better performance on the quiz. Past research on attention largely relies on participants’ selfreported measures of how attentive they perceived themselves to be during a task. A more reliable, objective measure is needed to enable researchers to compare the effectiveness of different approaches to instruction at engaging learners.



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