Helping Students Persist in Their Studies

In this module, faculty learn how to build intrinsic motivation by offering choice, providing targeted feedback and revision opportunities, and connecting course learning to career goals. It also introduces the concept and motivational impact of a growth mindset.

To satisfy the module requirements, practicing faculty must apply at least one technique, such as providing students with a choice in the type of project they will complete, offering students an opportunity to use feedback to revise an assignment, or showing students how course content is connected to their career goals.

This module is one of seven modules under ACUE’s unit on Establishing a Productive Learning Environment.

Advising Subject Matter Expert

Jane Muhich
Professor, Mathematics
Seattle Central Community College

Module References

Braxton, J. M. (Ed.). (2008). The role of the classroom in college student persistence. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Cornell University, Center for Teaching Excellence. (n.d.). Using rubrics.

Crissman Ishler, J. L., & Upcraft, M. L. (2005). The keys to first-year student persistence. In M. L. Upcraft, J. N. Gardner, & B. O. Barefoot (Eds.), Challenging and supporting the first-year student: A handbook for improving the first year of college (pp. 27–46). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Dweck, C. S. (2006). Mindset: The new psychology of success. How we can learn to fulfill our potential. New York, NY: Random House.

Hattie, J., & Timperley, H. (2007). The power of feedback. Review of Educational Research, 77, 81–112.

Pink, D. H. (2009). Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us. New York, NY: Riverhead Books.

Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2015). Promoting self-determined school engagement: Motivation, learning, and well-being. In K. R. Wentzel & D. Miele (Eds.), Handbook on motivation at school (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.

Thompson, J. G. (n.d.). 28 ways to build persistent & confident students. Retrieved from

Tinto, V. (1993). Leaving college: Rethinking the causes and cures of student attrition (2nd ed.). Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

University of Michigan, Center for Research on Learning & Teaching [CRLTeach]. (2014, February 26). Eric Mazur, Harvard University. Peer instruction [Video file]. Retrieved from

Wieman, C. (2010). Basic instructor habits to keep students engaged. Retrieved from the Carl Wieman Science Education Initiative at the University of British Columbia website:

Wieman, C. (2013). Motivating learning. Retrieved from the Carl Wieman Science Education Initiative at the University of British Columbia website: