Las Virgenes Unified School District | | (818)-878-5219


Recruiting Interest

Information that is not attended to, that does not engage learners’ cognition, is in fact inaccessible. It is inaccessible both in the moment and in the future, because relevant information goes unnoticed and unprocessed. As a result, teachers devote considerable effort to recruiting learner attention and engagement. But learners differ significantly in what attracts their attention and engages their interest. Even the same learner will differ over time and circumstance; their “interests” change as they develop and gain new knowledge and skills, as their biological environments change, and as they develop into self-determined adolescents and adults. It is, therefore, important to have alternative ways to recruit learner interest, ways that reflect the important inter- and intra-individual differences amongst learners.

How To:
  • Provide learners with as much discretion and autonomy as possible by providing choices in such things as:

  • The level of perceived challenge

  • The type of rewards or recognition available

  • The context or content used for practicing and assessing skills

  • The tools used for information gathering or production

  • The color, design, or graphics of layouts, etc.

  • The sequence or timing for completion of subcomponents of tasks

  • Vary activities and sources of information so that they can be:

  •  Personalized and contextualized to learners’ lives

  •  Culturally relevant and responsive

  •  Socially relevant

  • Age and ability appropriate

  •  Appropriate for different racial, cultural, ethnic, and gender groups

  • Design activities so that learning outcomes are authentic, communicate to real audiences, and reflect a purpose that is clear to the participants

  • Provide tasks that allow for active participation, exploration and experimentation

  • Invite personal response, evaluation and self-reflection to content and activities

  • Include activities that foster the use of imagination to solve novel and relevant problems, or make sense of complex ideas in creative ways

  • Create an accepting and supportive classroom climate

  • Vary the level of novelty or risk

  • Charts, calendars, schedules, visible timers, cues, etc. that can increase the predictability of daily activities and transitions

  • Creation of class routines

  • Alerts and previews that can help learners anticipate and prepare for changes in activities, schedules, and novel events

  • Options that can, in contrast to the above, maximize the unexpected, surprising, or novel in highly routinized activities

  • Vary the level of sensory stimulation

  • Variation in the presence of background noise or visual stimulation, noise buffers, number of features or items presented at a time

  • Variation in pace of work, length of work sessions, availability of breaks or time-outs, or timing or sequence of activities

  • Vary the social demands required for learning or performance, the perceived level of support and protection and the requirements for public display and evaluation

  • Involve all participants in whole class discussions

Academic Tier I