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Intended Learning Outcome:

To address motivation for the things on a to-do list


This is a way to help motivate students to do the items on their To-Do list. The scope of the list (module study, course study, activities outside of college etc.) and the time-scale will be dependent on where students are in their studies. For example, at the end of the course, they may have many assessment-related tasks to do.


Students make a To-Do list of the things they need to complete.

For each thing on their list ask:

1. Why do you want to do this?

2. Why is this important to you?

This helps to find positive reasons to do boring-but-necessary things.


To embed this activity into your knowledge learning you could first ask students to make a to-do list for an imaginary person in a given scenario, e.g. an event manager just before a festival, and ask them to imagine all the tasks that would be their responsibility and justify why they had to do them.


Large Group Teaching:

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

Online Teaching:


Students are aware of the tasks they need to complete and their motivation to do so.

Next Steps:

Links to other activities:

Further reading:


This TLA is from Michael Pantalon’s Influence Yourself With a “Why-Do” List:




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