Teaching design in technology and engineering education is one of the key Standards for Technological and Engineering Literacy (International Technology and Engineering Educators Association, 2021). Still, it can be challenging to provide a high-quality educational experience aligned with the standards required in introductory technology and engineering courses. Even after thorough preparation and delivering valuable content to students, students may feel the course was of low quality because it was required or not interesting. Our study investigated how improving the design thinking in technology courses based on the Expectancy Value Theory of motivation can impact students’ perceived course quality, as evidenced by course and instructor ratings. This study included nearly 1000 students in 25 sections. Quantitative analysis was completed using a t-test to measure differences in end-of-course evaluation scores for each section, and qualitative analysis of student evaluation responses was done through thematic analysis method. Our study showed that after making changes to a course based on Expectancy Value Theory, students’ ratings of both the course and instructor increased significantly. Expectancy Value Theory focuses the instructors’ course improvement efforts on three aspects which were manageable and resulted in significant improvement.