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Short-term and long-term learners’ motivation modeling in Web-based educational systems

Shahzad Shabbir (Department of Computer Science, COMSATS University Islamabad, Attock Campus, Pakistan)
Muhammad Adnan Ayub (Department of Computer Science, COMSATS University Islamabad, Attock Campus, Pakistan)
Farman Ali Khan (Department of Computer Science, COMSATS University Islamabad, Attock Campus, Pakistan)
Jeffrey Davis (Academia, American Realty Academy, Phoenix, Arizona, USA)

Interactive Technology and Smart Education

ISSN: 1741-5659

Article publication date: 3 August 2021

Issue publication date: 1 December 2021




Short-term motivation encompasses specific, challenging and attainable goals that develop in the limited timespan. On the other hand, long-term motivation indicates a sort of continuing commitment that is required to complete assigned task. As short-term motivational problems span for a limited period of time, such as a session, therefore, they need to be addressed in real time to keep the learner engaged in the learning process. Similarly, long-term learners’ motivation plays an equally important role to retain the learner in the long run and minimize the risk of dropout. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to incorporate a comprehensive learner motivation model that is based on short-term and long-term aspects of the learners' motivation. This approach enables Web-based educational systems to identify the real-time motivational state of the learner and provide personalized interventions to keep the learners engaged in learning process.


Recent research regarding personalized Web-based educational systems demonstrates learner’s motivation to be an essential component of the learning model. This is because of the fact that low motivation results in either students’ less engagement or complete drop out from the learning activities. A learner motivation model is considered to be a set of perceptions and beliefs that the system has developed about a learner. This includes both short-term and long-term motivations of leaners.


This study proposed a framework of a domain independent learners’ motivation model based on firm educational theories. The proposed framework consists of two modules. The primary module deals with real-time identification of motivation and logging off activities such as login, forum participation and adherence to assessment deadline. Secondary module maintains the profile of leaners associated with both short-term and long-term motivation. A study was conducted to verify the impact of learners’ motivation model and personalized interventional strategies based on proposed model, using Systematical Information Education Method assessment standards. The results show an increase in motivational index and the characteristics associated with motivation during the conducted study.


Motivational diagnosis is important for both traditional classrooms and Web-based education systems. It is one of the major elements that contribute in the success of the learning process. However, dropout rate among online students is very high, which leads to incorporate motivational elements in more personalized way because motivated students will retain the course until they successfully complete it. Hence, identifying learner’s motivation, updating learners’ motivation model based on this identification and providing personalized interventions are the key for the success of Web-based educational systems.



Shabbir, S., Ayub, M.A., Khan, F.A. and Davis, J. (2021), "Short-term and long-term learners’ motivation modeling in Web-based educational systems", Interactive Technology and Smart Education, Vol. 18 No. 4, pp. 535-552.



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