Anchored instruction has proved very successful in engaging students and getting them to solve problems more complex than their teachers thought possible. The basis of their success is student ownership of the problems.
In the above depicted models, what is on-campus and what is off-campus in most traditional institutions is growing more difficult to discern. Online instruction is increasingly mixed with learning theories. Technologies are also rapidly converging, so that video, audio, and print are all coming together through the Web in support of learning, and access to these advanced technologies is growing (Halpern, 2003). Nowadays, whether a learner in online Web-based courses is required to interact only with his instructors or also with other learners is decided by the tutor. In fact, this may emerge as a remarkable point of distinction between degree programs and online graduate instruction, which otherwise will likely become more and more similar from one institution to another in the areas of technology employed, modes of access, services provided, and content delivered
Some negative motivational patterns seen from the effort/ability framework may be fostered by school and classroom practices. One of the most prevalent is characterized as the competitive learning game (Harmin, 1994). This game refers to classroom practices that force students to compete against each other for grades and recognition. Such practices include ability grouping, a limited range of accomplishments that receive rewards, and recognizing ability over effort.
In 1989, Nicholls asserted that motivational inequality was prevalent in the schools. By motivational inequality, Nicholls meant that students who do not have optimum motivation for intellectual development are at a disadvantage compared with those who do. Students who have optimum motivation have an edge because they have adaptive attitudes and strategies, such as maintaining intrinsic interest, goal setting, and self-monitoring. There is evidence that this motivational inequality has increased rather than decreased in the years since it was first introduced (Good and Brophy 2003).
Unfortunately, in many cases the problems are compounded by school climate and teaching practices that may inhibit students from reaching their potential. One of these practices is the separation of students into groups based on their ability. When ability grouping is in place, many students are not exposed to rigorous subject matter that might better prepare them for college entrance examinations and college work, nor does it prepare them for jobs (Schunk 1999). In addition, the lower group is deprived of peer models of motivation strategies that would help them to achieve. Finally, teachers are likely to have lower expectations for this group and teach them accordingly.