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Guiding Appropriate Goal Setting in Universal Design for Learning

Guiding appropriate goal setting is a universal design for learning (UDL) guideline that supports multiple means of action and expression. The UDL guidelines were developed by an organization called CAST. This article will explore how teachers and other educators can support learners as they choose and work to achieve their goals.

Guiding appropriate goal setting in Universal Design for Learning

Guiding appropriate goal setting means helping students learn to set their own goals. Most lessons include learning objectives that specify what learners should be able to do by the end of the lesson. In other words, lessons include goals that are already set. As a result, learners may not know how to set goals. Therefore, some learners may begin setting goals that are too difficult to attain. Conversely, other learners may set goals they can attain too easily.

Teachers can use many strategies for guiding appropriate goal setting so that learners give themselves the right amount of challenge. For instance, teachers can provide prompts and examples of factors a learner should think about when they set a goal, such as:

  • How long the goal will take to achieve
  • What resources the learner will need to achieve it
  • The level of challenge

In addition, the teacher can show how the answers to these questions can change over time. For example, learners may take more time to complete a worksheet at the beginning of a unit than they take to complete review questions at the end of the unit, because they are comfortable with the content.

Moreover, teachers can provide learners with checklists and guides that will help them set their own goals. For instance, learners can write down the steps of their goals, and the date when they plan to achieve each step. Finally, teachers can display learners’ goals and schedules in the classroom, so that learners will remember and work to achieve their goals.