Task Initiation Definition

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Sound bite transcription:

Task initiation refers to our ability to be motivated, to take on new tasks, to stay perseverant with those tasks until its completion, even if we encounter challenges.  So its impact on learning is really evident. Motivation is the cornerstone of work. When we lack motivation, we procrastinate, we then rush through the work, we take short cuts, we don’t recheck our work, and of course the quality, invariably, will suffer.


Students with task initiation difficulties may:Pen making check marks in boxes

  • leave homework, assignments, and studying to the last minute;
  • struggle to determine how/where to start;
  • require teacher or peer support to get started;
  • fail to begin work at all;
  • struggle to generate ideas;
  • struggle to respond to open-ended questions;
  • struggle to make decisions.


Below is a list of possible strategies to support students with task initiation issues.

  • Help students break tasks down into smaller steps, and order them in a logical sequence.
  • Help students plan how they will tackle a given task.
  • Suggest that students complete their homework in order from shortest and easiest tasks first, to longer and more difficult ones last.
  • For longer assignments, chunk the work into smaller tasks and set deadlines for each one. Schedule check-in dates to monitor students’ progress and provide support where needed. Help the student plan each section and reinforce completion, or even partial completion, of each section with encouragement and verbal praise. It is important to celebrate student effort and not necessarily end results. Click here to access the template Assignment Planner.


preview of Assignment Planner template

Click here to access the template Assignment Planner.