A look at the effect of ordering of assignment difficulty on student self-efficacy and performance

Assignments are an important part of the marketing curriculum in most universities. One of the greatest advantages of assigning difficult assignments for an instructor early in the semester is that they set expectations high for what is expected over the entire course. By contrast, giving a first assignment that is relatively easy may set the expectation that the course will be a “gut course,” one that students can pass with relatively little work. This paper suggests that the ordering of difficulty of assign- ments can affect student’s self-efficacy about the class. This impact on self-efficacy may affect overall performance in the class.