Provide options for self-regulation

While it is important to design the extrinsic environment so that it can support motivation and engagement (see guidelines for recruiting interest and sustaining effort and persistence), 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.