John Keller Email

Mon, Feb 25, 2014 at 01:34 PM

Dear Terri,

Thank you for your interest and for the very nice message. This is the first time I've been asked this kind of question, but it is a good question and I will be happy to try to answer it. I have attached six articles. The first two will give you a quick overview of the philosophical/psychological foundations that led to the ARCS model. The two 1987 articles provide an overview of the introduction of the ARCS model itself and to its application. The 1999 article provides an elaboration of the model and its application in an online environment. The 2008 article describes its most recent expansion to include the concept of volition. The first four are sufficient for a foundational understanding of the model and its origin. The two more recent ones are more in the nature of elaborations.

In addition, you could look at the biographical sketches on my website that were written by Wayne State doctoral students. They contain information that will give you some background into my history and what led me into the development of my motivationally–focused research. When you receive the book, you will find some redundancies in it in relation to the articles, but on the other hand the articles will make it easy for you to examine the book and decide which parts you want to delve into in more depth. I do not suggest that you try reading the book from start to finish as you would do with an action-adventure novel, unless that is in fact what you want to do. My approach would be to look over the whole book and then read parts that interest me or that are most relevant to my immediate concerns.

With regard to your work with multicultural students, you will find that the ARCS model has been used in virtually all educational settings in this country as well as many, many other countries. The over all foundation and structure of the model appear to be very cross-cultural. What changes in different cultures or different settings within this country is the way in which you apply the model. That is, the analysis process is cross-cultural but the kinds of solutions that you generate will probably vary from one culture or sub-culture to another. As you know, some cultures are more individualistic and competitive and others are more cooperative and socially oriented. Thus, the kinds of tactics that you generate in one setting to accomplish a given motivational goal will probably be different from those that you would choose a different setting.

Best wishes and good luck. I hope things go well for you!


John M. Keller, Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus

Educational Psychology and Learning Systems

Florida State University

9705 Waters Meet Drive

Tallahassee, FL 32312-3746

Phone: 850-294-3908

Official ARCS Model Website: UPDATED 18 SEP 2013

Professional Website:

Keller, J.M. (2010), Motivational Design for Learning and Performance: The ARCS Model Approach. New York: Springer. Now available in English, Japanese, and Korean. "When facing a difficult task, act as though it is impossible to fail. If you are going after Moby Dick, take along the tartar sauce." --Walter Smith

On Mon, Feb 24, 2014 at 9:24 PM, Terri Krause wrote:

Dear Dr. Keller,

I have been introduced to you by Dr. Gopalakrishnan at Purdue, through our Learning Theory and Instructional Design class, and Marcy Driscoll’s book, Psychology of Learning for Instruction. I have been personally interested in motivation for many years, but, have been working with first generation, multi-cultural students for the past four years and have been struggling to determine the best way to light a spark in them. I have had some success stories, but, have to wonder if those particular students might have come to this point on their own without my help. I decided to take this MS.Ed. in Learning Design and Technology because I feel compelled to do everything I can to reach them and help them engage more fully in life.

I have started to read your papers and have ordered your book; but, I wondered if you might give me direction? What would you suggest is the best way to approach your work? I went through your website(s) and am a bit overwhelmed by the sheer volume of your publications. I thought about reading chronologically; but I am torn between evolving with you and working my way backward. Do you have a moment to direct me in the way you believe would be most beneficial to understanding your theories and thought process(es)? If you do not have time, I will truly understand.

Thank you for any help you are able to give.

Terri Krause