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While it is important to design the extrinsic environment so that it can support motivation and engagement (see guidelines 7 and 8), it is also important to develop learners’ intrinsic abilities to regulate their own emotions and motivations. The ability to self-regulate – to strategically modulate one’s emotional reactions or states in order to be more effective at coping and engaging with the environment – is a critical aspect of human development.While many individuals develop self-regulatory skills on their own, either by trial and error or by observing successful adults, many others have significant difficulties in developing these skills. Unfortunately some classrooms do not address these skills explicitly, leaving them as part of the “implicit” curriculum that is often inaccessible or invisible to many. Those teachers and settings that address self-regulation explicitly will be most successful in applying the UDL principles through modeling and prompting in a variety of methods. As in other kinds of learning, individual differences are more likely than uniformity. A successful approach requires providing sufficient alternatives to support learners with very different aptitudes and prior experience to effectively manage their own engagement and affect.

How To:
  • Provide prompts, reminders, guides, rubrics, checklists that focus on:

  • Self-regulatory goals like reducing the frequency of aggressive outbursts in response to frustration

  • Increasing the length of on-task orientation in the face of distractions

  • Elevating the frequency of self-reflection and self-reinforcements

  • Provide coaches, mentors, or agents that model the process of setting personally appropriate goals that take into account both strengths and weaknesses

  • Support activities that encourage self-reflection and identification of personal goals

  • Provide differentiated models, scaffolds and feedback for:

  • Managing frustration

  • Seeking external emotional support

  • Developing internal controls and coping skills

  • Appropriately handling subject specific phobias and judgments of “natural” aptitude (e.g., “how can I improve on the areas I am struggling in?” rather than “I am not good at math”)

  • Use real life situations or simulations to demonstrate coping skills

  • Offer devices, aids, or charts to assist individuals in learning to collect, chart and display data from their own behavior for the purpose of monitoring changes in those behaviors

  • Use activities that include a means by which learners get feedback and have access to alternative scaffolds (e.g., charts, templates, feedback displays) that support understanding progress in a manner that is understandable and timely

Academic Tier I