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John Keller

Information about John Keller can be obtained from his academic website, two short biographies, and a journal article:



Feel free to recom-mend additions to any of these pages: your own work or that of others. See email address below.

This website was updated on 28 Jun 2016.


© John M. Keller

Don’t imitate me;

it’s as boring

as the two halves of a melon.

Basho (1644 – 1694) 
to a prospective student


Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, 

I took the one less traveled by, 

And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost (1875 – 1967) 
from The Road Not Taken


Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship 'Enterprise.' Its five year mission: to explorestrange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where no man has gone before.

From the opening credits of Star Trek

(popular television series, premiered

September 8, 1966








What do these quotations have in common?


They evoke fundamental qualities of human motivation and persistence: the desires for adventure, for explorations into the unknown, for expanding our boundaries of knowledge, feeling and understanding, and for having the persistence and courage to conquer personal and world obstacles that might otherwise impede these quests.


Goal of the ARCS Website

The goal of this website is to become a gathering place for people who are trying to gain a better understanding of these human qualities, or, in other words, of the essence of human motivation and volition. At present, this prototype version of the website is primarily a source of information about one particular motivational theory and process for systematic motivational design (the ARCS Model), about people engaged in inquiry about motivation and how to influence it, and about areas of motivational research that are closely related to the ARCS model. In time, I expect to expand this site to include more interactive elements to assist in the growth and dissemination of knowledge and experience among researchers, designers, and teachers who are interested in this fundamental component of the human condition.

Peruse the pages of this website to learn about the concept of motivational design, the theoretical foundation of the ARCS model, the systematic motivational design process, examples of ARCS-related research areas, and a few of the places and people associated with ARCS-related studies and practices.


Research ideas: You can get ideas for research from the many references in this website, but especially from the studies listed on Research Themes subpage under the "ARCS Inquiry" page. These dissertations can searve as models for doctoral students and other people who are trying to establish a research theme in their work. These studies of motivation and instructional design include technological innovations such as animated pedagogical agents, psychological variables such as ability beliefs, instructional methods such as online learning, and instructional design strategies such as motivational objects to supplement learning objects.


What's New?

Today, 28 June 2016, I linked the Academic Website button to my academic vita. Stay tuned for additional changes in the near future.  I do welcome comments. Please send them to

The ARCS Book

Many of my publications as well as those of other people who have written about the ARCS model or incorporated it in their research are included in the reference list later in this website.

However, for a definitive description of the ARCS model, tools to assist in applying it, and examples of its application, please refer to my book:

Keller, J. M. (2010). Motivational Design for Learning and Performance: The ARCS model approach. New York: Springer.

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