Brainstorm a list of WIIFM (what’s in it for me?) from a student perspective.

If you can’t think of more than “because you should know it,” then you need to talk to your students and get a better sense of where they are in their learning and where they are going.

If you know your students well but you still have a hard time determining the relevance of a particular learning outcome, perhaps you should consider removing this content from your course.


This activity is part of the Motivation section of the Teacher for Learning Module.

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63 Responses for this Activity

  • WHIFM – leadership edition
    by Stephanie Muehlethaler (@smuehlethaler)

    This was an interesting exercise as I already do something similar at the beginning and end of the class (content focused). I do see an opportunity to do a mid semester check in on their new (and still unanswered questions) about the content which can inform how I move forward.

  • WIIFM
    by Isaac Kimunio (@Dr. Isaac Kimunio)

    Write  five WIIFM from a student’s  perspective. What are the benefits of studying Economics? Will I readily get a good job after I graduate with an Economics degree? Can I be able to fully learn and grasp Economics lessons online mode? Will I be able to assist my society or country through policy applications as more… »

  • WIIFM – a best hopes assignment
    by Kate MacIsaac (@kmacisaac)

    For the first assignment for a course I have taught, I thought I could revise it to draw out the “what’s in it for me” from students by having them reflect on why they are taking the course and their best hopes for the course.

  • Why Learn Pronunciation?
    by Sarah Darling (@SDarling)

    Why learn Pronunciation? This is based on a real conversation with an international business student who did not understand why he should improve his pronunciation. It’s not a brainstorm, exactly, but rather another mind map – because I loved the connections I made with the last one, and because some reasons seemed connected to a more… »

  • WIIFM: Writers
    by Susanmarie Harrington (@susanmarieh)

    Drafting, revising, giving feedback: all so important!

  • WIIFM Business Students
    by Pamela LeBrun (@PamLeBrun)

    I have had discussions with my students, usually in the first weeks of class, about expectations and WIIFM. They normally reply to gain Excel or Word skills, but I try to dig deeper so I can really tailor my teaching. Sometimes during conversations I get little tidbits as I’ve shared in the evidence document attached. more… »

  • WIIFM – FIrst year intro course perspective
    by Michelle Laurence (@Michelle Laurence)

    Who knew I was WIIFMing before it was cool! I regularly link real-life and the WIIFM question into the first year anatomy course I teach. It is mostly to motivate the students in the course, but I think it is a little for me to also remember that this is important content that needs a more… »

  • Why I’m in School?
    by jessica srivastava (@Jessica)

    I teach communications (college) and business communications (ISP MBA). For my international students the main motivations are: immigration to Canada, obtaining work, improving their lives and the lives of their family at home, gain knowledge and gain knowledge about Canadian culture. For my domestic students, the motivations are similar but might also include stepping stone more… »

  • See the attached for my WIIFM response
    by Tricia Bonner (@Tbone)

    I teach a fourth semester online course in the distance ECE program. The final assignment is a group assignment and I often have “pushback” from students. Some feel that they signed up for online learning so that they could work independently. Over the past few years I have had to consider this from a student’s more… »

  • WIIFM activity
    by Lori Hallahan (@lhallahan)

    Library promotions WIIFM: Relevance is to your future role in the library, you may be directly involved in library promotions through the responsibility of creating the promotional material or you may be indirectly involved through support the staff member responsible for this content. Often staff need pictures of staff for a variety of reasons and more… »

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