What is the purpose of designating items as "to-do"?

Community Explorer

Experienced online instructors, can you please share your wisdom and knowledge?

I am failing to understand the purpose of designating a page, an assignment, etc., as "Add to student to-do," which appears at the bottom of pages when you edit them. I understand that clicking this box causes the item to pop up for the student in a stream on the right side of the dashboard in Canvas.

This seems to create two competing threads for students to follow to figure out what needs to be done and when: the modules (which are marked as week 1, week 2, course documents, additional resources, etc.) and the to-do list. If I were a student, I might be confused by these competing threads.

As an instructor, I wouldn't want to mark only some things as "to-do" for fear that students may overlook portions of the class because they didn't pop up on the to-do list. On the flip side, if I mark everything "to-do," then what is the point of the designation?

Could anyone provide some insight as to how you've found the to-do list to be useful for students?

Have any instructors found ignoring the to-do designation (not marking anything as "to-do") to cause problems?

Thank you.