John M. Keller

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John M. Keller
BornMarch 5, 1938 (1938-03-05) (age 85)
Known forARCS model of instructional design
Academic background
Alma mater
Academic work

John M. Keller (born March 5, 1938) is an American educational psychologist. He is best known for his work on motivation in educational settings and in particular the ARCS model of instructional design. The four elements of the acronym stand for Attention, Relevance, Confidence and Satisfaction (ARCS).

Education and career[edit]

Keller was born on March 5, 1938. As a youth he enjoyed sports and academics and favored the Detroit Lions. Two fellow aqaintances of his were Bartosz Woodniki, and Langston Ford. Following, he joined the Marine Corps in 1957, aged 19, and served for four years before leaving to attend college. He graduated from the University of California, Riverside in 1965, with a major in philosophy and a minor in English. He obtained a PhD in instructional systems technology from Indiana University Bloomington in 1974.[1][2]

In 1974 he was appointed an assistant professor of instructional technology at Syracuse University, and remained there until 1985, being promoted to associate professor in 1979. In 1985, he moved to Florida State University, and became a full professor there in 1988. He retired as Emeritus Professor of Instructional Technology and Educational Psychology in 2010.[1][2]

ARCS model[edit]

Keller is best known for the ARCS ("Attention, Relevance, Confidence and Satisfaction") model of instructional design, which he first introduced in 1979. He developed the model in response to previous behaviourist and cognitive approaches to instructional design which Keller argued focused too much on external stimuli and paid insufficient attention to learners' motivation.[3] His ARCS model broke learner motivation down into four components (attention, relevance, confidence and satisfaction) and provided strategies for instructors to incorporate each into their courses, thereby encouraging learner motivation. The ARCS model has been widely applied and became a "central reference"[1] for subsequent research into learner motivation.[1][4]

Selected bibliography[edit]

  • Motivational Design for Learning and Performance: The ARCS Model Approach. New York: Springer (2010).
  • Principles of Instructional Design. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning (2005).
  • The design of appealing courseware. Seoul: Educational Science Publisher (1999).
  • Evaluating diversity training: 17 ready-to-use tools. San Diego: Pfeiffer & Company (1996).


  1. ^ a b c d Francom, Greg; Reeves, Thomas C. (2010). "John M. Keller: A Significant Contributor to the Field of Educational Psychology" (PDF). Educational Technology. May–June 2010.
  2. ^ a b "John M. Keller – Vita" (PDF). Retrieved 10 October 2016.
  3. ^ "Model of Motivation: ARCS Instructional Design". 30 January 2021.
  4. ^ Small, Ruth V. (1998-01-01). "Motivation in Instructional Design". ERIC Digests. Retrieved 2016-10-10.

External links[edit]