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Heightening Salience of Goals and Objectives in Universal Design for Learning

Heightening salience of goals and objectives is a universal design for learning (UDL) guideline that supports multiple means of engagement. The UDL guidelines were developed by an organization called CAST. This article will explore how teachers and other educators can help learners continue to concentrate on attaining their goals.

Heightening salience of goals and objectives in Universal Design for Learning

Heightening salience of goals and objectives means supporting learners as they focus on how they will achieve learning objectives. Learners may easily be able to focus on a learning objective, or on their own set goals, at first. However, over time, learners may experience threats or distractions, as they work towards many goals at once. Therefore, learners need reminders about the value of learning objectives and goals.

Teachers can use many strategies for heightening salience of goals and objectives. For instance, teachers can prompt learners with reminders of the given learning objectives for an assignment. While some learners will need regular reminders, others may need fewer reminders as they gain skill in providing their own. In addition, teachers could post reminders of objectives that apply to the whole class, or learners’ individual goals, on:

Similarly, teachers may require learners to monitor progress on a project in different ways, such as submission of:

  • Drafts at different stages
  • Progress reports

Teachers could ask each learner to explain in a draft or progress report how they have worked toward their objective or goal.

Moreover, teachers can show learners how to plan or strategize by thinking about one large goal as a series of smaller, more manageable steps. Learners can then think about how each of their goals consists of small steps to be completed. Furthermore, teachers can show learners tools to use for scheduling reminders on computers or other devices. Finally, teachers can hold class discussions about how learners can achieve their goals in different ways that promote their interests or are meaningful in different cultural contexts.