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Intended Learning Outcome:

To identify motivations to complete tasks


Identifying students’ motivation to attend to tricky tasks. This is a simple tool to help students discuss what they are avoiding doing and to discover why and how we can help them to change that.


1. Decide on the behaviour which needs addressing

2. Ask your students the question: “On a scale of 1 to 10 how likely am I to X ( describe the activity)?”

3. Ask students to write down their number using the scale: 1 – definitely won’t do this to 10 – definitely will do this.

4. Ask “Why isn’t that number lower?”

5. Students to discuss their number. (NB If the students answer with the number 1 then ask ‘what can I do to help you increase that number?’)

Most people expect question 2 to be ‘why isn’t that number higher?’ Asking them why it isn’t lower tends to make people justify why they do want to do something and it creates a more positive response, motivating factors that you can build on.



This can be used for revision, for assessment preparation (e.g. a performance that needs rehearsing or an essay that needs writing). It is also useful for addressing areas which need to be done regularly such as rehearsing, studying outside of class and attendance.

Large Group Teaching:

With large groups, you can either run this as a solo activity and then put students into groups to discuss their decisions or you could have small-group discussions which contribute to a whole-group activity of generating one list and intentions on how to change behaviour.

Online Teaching:


Students will be more aware of what needs to be done and why they need to do it, as well as what is getting in their way.

Next Steps:

Make sure you check-up on their motivation over the following weeks and ask them to observe if anything is getting in the way. This TLA is a good first-step activity but maybe some time management activities need to be looked at next.

Links to other activities:

Further reading:


This is an idea from Pantalon, M. V. (2011). Instant influence : how to get anyone to do anything–fast. Little, Brown and Company.


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