In my first year of graduate school, I took an introductory course on computational methods. The class was very broad, and somewhat superficial. For the exams, we were expected write down memorized equations, but never actually use them.
I found this demotivating because I am not very good at rote memorization. I also felt it was pointless to memorize equations without needing to use them. That is, the instructor did not properly explain why memorizing these equations was important.
This issue could have been fixed in two ways: either the class could have focused on active use of the equations, or the instructor could have at least properly explained why memorization was important.