Motivating Students. ‘Some students seem naturally enthusiastic about learning, but many need-or expect-their instructors to inspire, challenge, and stimulate them: “Effective learning in the classroom depends on the teacher’s ability … to maintain the interest that brought students to the course in the first place” (Ericksen, 1978, p. 3). Whatever level of motivation your students bring to the classroom will be transformed, for better or worse, by what happens in that classroom.’
Tools for Teaching, Davis, B.G., Jossey-Bass; San Francisco, 1993. ‘A compendium of classroom-tested strategies and suggestions designed to improve the teaching practices of all college instructors, including beginning, mid-career, and senior faculty members. The book describes 49 teaching tools that cover both traditional practical tasks–writing a course syllabus, delivering an effective lecture–as well as newer, broader concerns such as responding to diversity on campus and coping with budget constraints.’
Update: There is a very good collection of resources at the Guide to Online Schools site, on how to motivate students. The resources are grouped in seven categories such as class structure, creating enthusiasm, lesson guides, motivating students or dealing with parents. Highly recommended!