for using the motivational web portal
Project CODE – Competence Opportunities for Digital Employment, 217-1-414
This guide is designed to help project participants and contains the following two sections:
- Motivational principles in the learning process
- Tools for applying the motivational principles
This web portal uses principles based on Solution- and Resource-Focused psychological approaches, systems philosophy and authorial developments related to ways to build effective communication with learners in the project to increase interest and motivation to learn and develop skills. It includes demonstration materials that show how to use motivational tools, as well as exercises for independent work by professionals who lead trainings, as well as by the participants in the training..
The following terms are used to introduce more clarity in the description of the process of using motivational tools:
Trainer – a training professional who has sufficient professional knowledge and skills in a specific field /in this case – graphic design/, as well as good pedagogical experience in terms of how to transfer their professional skills.
Trainee – a person who declares interest and desire to master and stabilize skills in a particular professional field /in this case – graphic design/.
Psychological motivational tools can be divided into two categories:
- Motivation tools that trainers can use in their communication with trainees and
- Motivational tools for independent work of the trainees
Psychological motivational tools are developed in accordance with individual differences and needs and are subject to the following principles:
- Motivation is a strictly individual process.
- Things that motivate one person do not motivate another person
- A person’s motivation changes over time.
- A person is (self)motivated the most when he builds the learning process himself
- A person is (self)motivated more when he plans independently and in detail the development of his resources and the building of his own skills.
- A person is (self)motivated better when he independently controls the learning process.
- A person is (self)motivated better when he independently determines the steps for his training.
Each of the trainees has their own individual idea of how, in what way and in what steps to learn in order to achieve success. To support this process, the job of the project trainers is to learn to support the trainees in an appropriate way so as to stimulate their activity and initiative. This can be obtained by building a constructive communication process between the trainer and the trainee, which in turn requires:
- focus of the trainer’s interest in the resources and skills that the trainee has and demonstrates.
- focus of the trainer’s interest in what resources and skills the trainee wants to develop.
The use of non-directive psychological techniques and provoking the trainee’s interest occurs when the trainer asks questions to the trainee rather than directly requesting things from him / her and presenting formulations and setting learning conditions. It is necessary for the trainer to master the ability to ask appropriate questions, as well as to have the ability to provoke the trainee to ask questions to build and maintain the motivational process. In order for a question to be good, it is necessary to have the following characteristics:
- To be important, useful and meaningful for the specific moment
- To require contemplation/thinking before answering
- To not predispose to / does not allow automatic answers
- To lead to new knowledge or understanding
- To facilitate current and future actions;
- To allow for several answers
- His answers to lead to new questions
When the trainee has the freedom and opportunity to construct / with the trainer’s support/ his own learning process, based on timely questions and answers, it is much more likely that he is motivated to long-term participation in the process of his own professional development. This process is formed in two stages:
- Selection of suitable candidates for training.
- Professional and psychological development of the selected candidates for training.
The developed motivational tools can be used in each of the project stages. They support the learning and professional development of the trainees (and the trainers) in the long run and the building of sustainability and appropriate attitude to learning.
Psychological aspects of the motivational process
/ for trainers/
In general, in order to build effectiveness in action and constructive communication, the process of motivating trainees to be involved in learning engagements needs to contain the following steps / elements:
- Thinking / contemplation
- Asking a question
- Structuring response / replying
- Activity – performing activities
- Monitoring of the activity / activities
- Making feedback
In this regard, it is important to pay attention to the following points for the fruitful implementation of the steps:
Each of the steps is independent and it is necessary to provide sufficient time for its implementation. There is no strict sequence as to which step to take, but it is important that all steps are included in the motivational process. It is also important that each of the steps be discussed where possible to improve the strategy for planning future actions.
- Steps 1 – 3 can be repeated several times before proceeding to step 4.
- The time to complete step 4 is determined by the trainee.
- At certain stages during the implementation of step 4, steps 1 – 3 can be included and repeated to catalyze the motivational process.
- The implementation of step 5 needs to be tailored to support the implementation of step 4.
- Step 5 should not be allowed to interfere with step 4.
- Step 6 is performed after sufficient time has been given for the implementation of step 4.
- Step 7 helps to consolidate the learning process.
After completing all the steps, the whole process can be repeated in another area, topic or to motivate to master another skill.
In case of additional questions, you can contact the authors of the project. Their coordinates can be found at https://self-trainer.eu/initial-motivational-interviewing/
Initial motivational interview of candidates for training in graphic design
To successfully start the work process, the first main task of the trainer is to select such trainees who can cope well with the learning material, inspired to follow the learning process and longer maintain their motivation to learn in the field of graphic design. The proposed way in which this step can be carried out more successfully is called – initial semi-structured motivational interview for selection of young people who have a positive attitude to learning in the field of graphic design.
When conducting a process of recruitment and selection of candidates for training in graphic design, it is good to follow a few principles:
- Respect and esteem for the individual characteristics of the applicant to be shown
- To be kept in mind that both the trainer has requirements and the trainee has its own requirements
- Good conditions for conducting a free conversation in which the candidate for training can present himself more completely and fully to be created.
Compliance with these principles will help the trainer to make a good assessment of whether the candidate is suitable for inclusion in graphic design training provided by the project.
The steps for conducting an interview can be seen in the demonstration videos for interviewing candidates on the website at: https://self-trainer.eu/videos/
The idea of a semi-structured motivational interview is related to the fact that if the interviewer follows a pre-arranged interview structure, it would largely block the communication process. The use of a degree of freedom in the interview process allows for the reversal of roles and the release of the interviewee to ask questions independently and seek answers in the presence of the interviewer. The role of the interviewer is to guide and manage the communication process during the interview, rather than to intervene with his pre-prepared questions and statements. The research process built in this way during the interview provides an opportunity for a more complete development of the motivational potential and presentation of the individual available and potential skills by the applicant.
As an approach to interviewing it is good to follow a few practical rules like:
- At the very beginning of the interview it is necessary for the candidate to be predisposed with a few introductory questions and to be invited to tell about himself – in the direction of what he does well, what skills he has so far, to what extent he has developed them, what achievements he has – in any area of life.
- Just as trainers have questions about professional development, so trainees have their own questions (which they are often embarrassed to ask). In such a situation, the motivational task of the trainer is to provoke the trainee to ask his own questions. As a second step in the interview process, the candidate may be invited to share their recent questions, which of these questions are related to the future overall work process, and to identify which of the questions they are asking may be helpful in terms of learning and to what extent.
- As a next step – in case the candidate cannot formulate his / her own questions, the interviewer can use questions that he / she has prepared in advance, as well as such questions that arise during the interview process. The interviewer can also use the pre-formulated sample questions, which can be found on the self-trainer.eu website – in the section Initial motivational interviewing.
- As a final step in the motivational process, it is important to define and specify the individual goals during the training, the general goals, as well as the responsibilities of the trainee during the whole learning process.
It is important during the interview that the candidate is invited several times to ask or formulate his / her own questions, if any, and to be offered time to answer them on his / her own. Candidates’ own questions are an important motivational principle used in the decision- and resource-focused approach to increase one’s own activity.
An individual development planning tool
The learning process is related to mastering skills and developing abilities. In order for it to run more smoothly, it is important this process to be considered in advance (both by the trainers and the trainees) and steps for its more effective implementation to developed..
When using the Interactive Situations section, trainees will have more clarity about where to work and invest time, and what skills and abilities to develop that will be useful to them..
In order for this psychological tool to work, it is important the following practical steps to be followed:
- To determine the skill that will be developed. It does not need to be extremely detailed and well-concreted at the outset, but it is important to name and describe what this skill is. The concretization of the skill happens in the process of work.
- To be determined on a scale from 0 to 10 to what extent the described skill has already been developed / if there is such a moment /. It is not so much the degree as it is to outline the upcoming path and steps to develop the respective skill using the scale. This will help to specify future actions. It is not necessary to look for the maximum degree of development of the respective skill / at least in the beginning /, but to be determined the degree of mastery of the skill by the trainee, which will help to achieve independence in using this skill.
- The benefits (motivational process) of mastering the chosen skill to the appropriate degree to be determined. The more benefits are defined, the stronger the motivation to master the skill.
- To be Identified people who will support the development of relevant skills. Individual learning is a social process and when there are people around the trainee who support him, it would increase the motivation to learn.
- The trainee to describe what he will do when he achieves sufficient mastery of the relevant skill. This step is important in order to be able to build an idea of the future picture of action after mastering the skill.
- It is important for the trainee to think about the steps he or she needs to take to master the skill and write them down on paper. This would help to draw up and follow a specific plan for mastering the respective skill.
- And since learning is not a process with “Start” and “End”, after mastering the chosen skill sufficiently, the trainee can choose what will be the next skill, for which he will make an effort to master and repeat the described process..
Each of these steps can be broken down into sub-steps, which would make it easier to master skills. The accumulation of information regarding the mastery of various skills forms a map of the trainee’s own development. This card represents the individual learning style and can be useful for other learning activities.
It is important to choose and work on only one skill for a certain period of time, so as not to create chaos and confusion regarding the commitments and upcoming activities.
Steps to success
Steps to Success is a self-study tool that can be used during the learning process by both trainees and their trainers. Because motivation is a process that needs to be maintained, Steps to Success helps people who use this tool to develop old or discover new areas of interest to maintain motivation to learn and improve themselves.
This motivational tool is developed in two versions – electronic and paper. This helps trainees to use it according to their preferences. Not everyone wants to be constantly in front of the computer to maintain their motivation. In this sense – the participant in the training can use “Steps to Success” on paper and perform independent work anywhere, in a comfortable and conducive to independent psychological work situation. This helps to make the process more complete:
- THINKING / CONSIDERING CONDITIONS / Independent psychological work /
- ASKING A USEFUL QUESTION / According to the criteria described in the motivational principles /
- FINDING A GOOD ANSWER / Supporting future actions /
- ACTION PROVOKED BY THE RESPONSE(S)
- OVERVIEW OF ACHIEVEMENTS
This process can happen sometimes, often or continuously. But it is important to happen on time – not to be postponed. In this way, the learning process will not be allowed to be reversed – first action and then questions and reflection on the experienced situation. The latter would develop a rather reactive approach to coping with difficulties and to learning, which would provoke the attitude of passivity on the part of the trainee.
Experience shows that very good results are achieved when the user of “Steps to Success” takes time to dream, fantasize, present the achievements (achieved goals). These are important psychological processes that accompany creative thinking and one’s own proactivity. Therefore, the trainee is good to follow the process described above and to strengthen habits in this direction.
“Steps to success” has its own logical and psychological sequence, which is good to follow. In case the user of this tool has difficulties in starting, he can use the help questions, which can be found at https://self-trainer.eu/helpdesk/, as well as turn to the authors of “Steps to Success”.
Principles for using motivational tools
The presented motivational tools can be used both together and separately. They are part of the overall process of (self)motivation of trainees. In order for these tools to work, it is important to follow the principles that maintain and develop motivation. In addition, it is important to follow several practical rules for more effective application of motivational tools in practice:
VOLUNTEERING – The tools are used only if desired by the trainee. Any obligation and coercion is not allowed and would have the opposite effect.
TIMELINESS – The tools are used when the trainee deems it appropriate as a period of time. Pre-setting dates and periods is not always a good motivator for achievement.
CONFIDENTIALITY – Motivational tools are designed for independent work. In case the user does not want to share them, but prefers his work to remain personal, he has the full right to keep any activity in this regard undisclosed.
ASSISTANCE – In case of need and desire, each of the participants in the project can turn to the authors of the tools for assistance, consultation or giving additional guidelines for work.