Cut the busy work! Establishing clear purpose in course assignments and activities




Hurlbut, Amanda

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Association Of College And University Educators


You probably remember at some point in your childhood having a parent or adult ask you to do an errand, task, or chore that you didn’t want to do. My first thought when my mom asked me to do something was “Why do I have to do this? What for?” The analytic part of my brain wanted a purpose for the time and energy that I devoted to seemingly meaningless tasks. (And it never helped when my mom said, “Because I said so…”)

Students want the same answers to these questions. If we ask them to complete a learning task or assignment, many will ask or think, “Why do I have to do this? Why is this important? What does this have to do with the learning concept? How is this going to help me achieve my learning goals?”


Article originally published in ACUE Community "Q" Blog. English.
Permission to deposit this file was given through direct contact with the publisher. For more information please see the faculty member's entry in Project INDEX -- EDH 7/7/23


Teacher-student communication, Purposeful learning experience


This is a published version of an article that is available at: Recommended citation: Hurlbut, A. (2018, November 18). Cut the busy work! Establishing clear purpose in course assignments and activities. ACUE Community "Q" Blog. This item has been deposited in accordance with publisher copyright and licensing terms and with the author’s permission.