Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship between individual motivation – both intrinsic and extrinsic – and learning effectiveness; moreover, this paper also investigates whether this relationship is moderated by gender. Design/methodology/approach – A quasi-experimental study was conducted. The research measured intrinsic motivation, extrinsic motivation and learning effectiveness among 1,491 students attending a coursework in informatics and computer basics in three different contexts: Burundi, Morocco and India. Findings – Findings suggest that intrinsic motivation has a positive effect on learning effectiveness, while extrinsicmotivation has a negative effect on learning effectiveness. It also shows that gender has amoderating role. Originality/value – This research offers interesting contributions to the extant literature: first, it is the first to consider the moderating role of gender in the relationship between students’ motivation and learning effectiveness; second, it proposes the analysis of a rather broad data set with 1,491 students, thus providing strong empirical research based on a consistent data set.