How to design a module or curriculum in which students experience empowerment, usefulness, success, interest, and caring? In this talk, Dr Brett Jones presents the MUSIC model that integrates all 5 aspects and allows measuring the motivational climate of your classroom – allowing you to make tweaks and improving the overall quality of engagement of your students. Reflecting on these components can help to tackle specific challenges in your classroom. This presentation provides practical tips on how this can be achieved.

All resources can be found below.

See you at the next TILE Network seminar.


The motivational climate of a course refers to “the aspects of the psychological environment that affect students’ motivation and engagement within a course” (Jones et al., 2022, AERA Open, 8, p. 1). Psychologists have identified five aspects of the motivational climate—eMpowerment/autonomy, Usefulness, Success, Interest, and Caring (referred to by the acronym MUSIC)—that are particularly important to students’ motivation and engagement in course activities. One purpose of this TILE (Teaching Innovation and Learning Enhancement) talk is to describe the five MUSIC aspects of the motivational climate and how they are related to engagement and learning outcomes. By understanding these MUSIC aspects of the motivational climate, instructors can intentionally design their courses to create a positive motivational climate that will motivate and engage students in the course activities and assignments. Another purpose of this TILE talk is to explain how instruments can be used to assess the motivational climate in a course or activity. The results of the assessments can be used to identify motivational strengths and weaknesses in courses and activities. This information can then be used by instructors to modify their teaching strategies in ways that will lead to a more positive motivational climate. This talk will be of interest to instructors who want to improve student engagement and to researchers who want to investigate student motivation and engagement.

About the speaker:

Brett D. Jones, Ph.D., is a Professor in the Educational Psychology Program in the School of Education at Virginia Tech. He has held faculty positions as an educational psychologist at Duke University, the University of South Florida St. Petersburg, and Virginia Tech. He has taught 24 different types of university courses related to motivation, cognition, and teaching strategies. Dr. Jones has also conducted workshops and invited presentations at many universities and has presented over 160 research papers at conferences. His research, which includes examining instructional methods that support students’ motivation and learning, has led to more than 100 refereed journal articles, several book chapters, and three books. He has received three grants from the National Science Foundation for a total of over $2 million to conduct his research. More information can be found at Twitter: @brettdjones