How can we motivate students and professionals to devote time and energy into their education and development? This is the key question in the study carried out by Djoerd Hiemstra, researcher at Serious Gaming professorships.

“In a knowledge-intensive service economy it is essential that professionals maintain their knowledge and skills at a sufficient level. Employers, governmental authorities, education institutes and experts therefore constantly stress the importance of 'lifelong learning'. But putting time and effort into your education and development is easier said than done. Students are busy building up their social lives and exploring their newly-found freedom as young adults; whilst those in work focus on building their careers and wrestle with finding a balance between their work and private lives. So how do you find the time and energy to invest in your education or development?”

“In my research, I investigate interventions, strategies, methods and techniques that can improve the motivation of students and professionals to invest time and energy in their education and development. For my doctorate, I examined the effectiveness of the ‘focusing on strengths’ approach. This is a method whereby individuals reflect upon their personal strengths after which they choose those educational and development activities that are geared to further developing these strengths.”

Need any help?

Exciting new research area

“My current research looks at the application of game mechanics in education and development. Or rather, how can we apply to education and development situations those principles that make games so appealing, in order to optimally motivate people to learn? Serious gaming is an exciting new area of research for motivation researchers, as games provide a very targeted and systematic way of looking for optimal ways to stimulate learning behaviour.”