(De-)Motivational Story

Mar 30, 2015 • Dirk Eddelbuettel


This is a challenging post, and I have been thinking about this topic since it was presented at the end of the most recent lesson conference call. While it has been quite a few years since I last took classes as an undergraduate or graduate student, I feel somewhat hard-pressed to come up with a good example.

Obviously, everybody has at some point encountered an instructor who could have been yet more pursuasive, yet more prepared, yet more charismatic and, last but certainly not least, more engaged and motivated. But while this is true it is also somewhat obvious. As students, I seem to recall that we were always somewhat prepared for taking the below-average instructor together will the above-average instructor.

So sure, I could mention, say, a short required course on Statistical Programming with SAS which I took during the MA year. Neither the students nor the instructor were particularly motivated, and everybody just endured the mandatory few instruction hours. But that is neither particularly insightful nor novel.

That being said, we should always plan and strive for well-planned and delivered instruction, which includes a level of motivation, engagement and persuasiveness that wins the attention of the students


I apologize for the late submission, but I attended the rOpenSci unconference and subsequent travel got in the way.