Taken from

The Motivational Effect of ICT on Pupils

Don Passey and Colin Rogers, with Joan Machell and Gilly McHugh

Department of Educational Research
Lancaster University
Available from Teachernet




Key findings


  • ICT use by pupils and teachers in the case study schools led to positive motivational outcomes, supporting a focus upon learning and the tackling of learning tasks.
  • Positive motivational outcomes were most frequently found when ICT was used to support engagement, research, writing and editing, and presentation of work. Where ICT uses supported internal cognitive aspects of learning, for example in the case of secondary design and technology, there were indicators that the motivation arising from the use of ICT was linked to enhancements in some subject specific attainment.
  • More positive motivation resulted when ICT use was focused on both teaching and learning, than when ICT was used to support teaching alone.
  • Boys and girls were both motivated by uses of ICT. There was evidence that motivation from ICT use positively affected the work patterns of boys so that they worked in similar ways to the persistent pattern of girls.
  • Motivation appeared to be independent of ethnic background, but socio-economic background impacted on occasions in terms of limited access or out of school support.
  • There were indications that ICT impacted positively upon pupil behaviour inside school, and some impact on their behaviour outside school.