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


Sustaining Effort and Persistence

Many kinds of learning, particularly the learning of skills and strategies, require sustained attention and effort. When motivated to do so, many learners can regulate their attention and affect in order to sustain the effort and concentration that such learning will require. However, learners differ considerably in their ability to self-regulate in this way. Their differences reflect disparities in their initial motivation, their capacity and skills for self-regulation, their susceptibility to contextual interference, and so forth. A key instructional goal is to build the individual skills in self-regulation and self-determination that will equalize such learning opportunities (see Guideline 9). In the meantime, the external environment must provide options that can equalize accessibility by supporting learners who differ in initial motivation, self-regulation skills, etc.

How To:
  • Prompt or require learners to explicitly formulate or restate goal

  • Display the goal in multiple ways

  • Encourage division of long-term goals into short-term objectives

  • Demonstrate the use of hand-held or computer-based scheduling tools

  • Use prompts or scaffolds for visualizing desired outcome 

  • Engage learners in assessment discussions of what constitutes excellence and generate relevant examples that connect to their cultural background and interests 

  • Differentiate the degree of difficulty or complexity within which core activities can be completed

  • Provide alternatives in the permissible tools and scaffolds

  • Vary the degrees of freedom for acceptable performance

  • Emphasize process, effort, improvement in meeting standards as alternatives to external evaluation and competition

  • Create cooperative learning groups with clear goals, roles, and responsibilities

  • Create school-wide programs of positive behavior support with differentiated objectives and supports

  • Provide prompts that guide learners in when and how to ask peers and/or teachers for help

  • Encourage and support opportunities for peer interactions and supports (e.g., peer-tutors)

  • Construct communities of learners engaged in common interests or activities

  • Create expectations for group work (e.g., rubrics, norms, etc.)

  • Provide feedback that encourages perseverance, focuses on development of efficacy and self-awareness, and encourages the use of specific supports and strategies in the face of challenge

  • Provide feedback that emphasizes effort, improvement, and achieving a standard rather than on relative performance

  • Provide feedback that is frequent, timely, and specific

  • Provide feedback that is substantive and informative rather than comparative or competitive

  • Provide feedback that models how to incorporate evaluation, including identifying patterns of errors and wrong answers, into positive strategies for future success 

Academic Tier I