Enhancing relevance: Embedded ARCS strategies vs. Purpose

  • Tammy Babe Means
  • David H. Jonassen
  • Francis M. Dwyer


The hypothesis of this study assumes that the cognitive effects of motivation result primarily from the relevance of what is being learned, that is, whether the ideas being studied are meaningful and whether they fulfill the goals of the learner. This study compared the effects of intrinsic relevance (material fulfilling a purpose or need of the learner) with embedded, extrinsic relevance-enhancing strategies based on the ARCS (attention, relevance, confidence, and satisfaction) Model of Instruction on perceived motivation and the learning outcomes of identification, terminology, comprehension, and drawing. Both intrinsic and extrinsic strategies enhanced the motivation of the college learners and their performance on identification, terminology, and comprehension questions following instruction. Embedded relevance-enhancing strategies resulted in greater motivation and performance gains than did intrinsic relevance.


Educational Technology Performance Gain Cognitive Effect Comprehension Question Motivation Result 
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Copyright information

© Association for Educational Communications and Technology 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tammy Babe Means
    • 1
  • David H. Jonassen
    • 2
  • Francis M. Dwyer
  1. 1.the Pennsylvania State UniversityUSA
  2. 2.the Pennsylvania State UniversityUSA

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