What motivates our design students during COVID-19?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


This article presents empirical findings and recommendations from a survey of 100 industrial design engineering students from the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering at Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands. The article adopts a self-deterministic motivation lens to present findings from a qualitative survey (N=100 respondents) and two member check workshops with design students and educators regarding motivations to study during COVID-19 restrictions. We identify that COVID-19 lockdown measures compromise three psychological prerequisites for motivation: ‘relatedness’, ‘autonomy’ and ‘competency’. We find that resilient students who have a sense of ‘purpose’ remain highly motivated. The article reveals creative approaches students are applying to build and sustain motivation during the COVID-19 pandemic. The article contributes recommendations for educators and administrators to promote student motivation in pandemic and post-pandemic higher education. This article contributes novel insights regarding how students in particular are remaining motivated to study during COVID-19.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-249
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Design, Business and Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • COVID-19
  • Learning
  • Lockdown
  • Motivation
  • Student
  • Well-being


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