Guideline 9: Provide options for promoting and increasing self-regulation.

While it is important to design the extrinsic environment so that it can support motivation and engagement (see Guidelines 7 and 8), in the assessment situation it is important to develop students’ 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 cope or engage with the environment more effectively—is a critical aspect of human development. Many individuals have significant difficulty developing self-regulatory skills and applying them to the assessment setting. Unfortunately, most classrooms do not address these skills explicitly, classrooms that explicitly address self-regulation generally assume a single model or method for doing so. Successful approaches to self-regulation require providing sufficient alternatives to support individual learners with varied aptitudes and prior experience in learning to effectively manage their own engagement and affect.

9.1 Provide tools and options for setting appropriate (attainable and engaging) goals

When in the assessment situation, setting goals for self-regulation is explicitly affective—learning to avoid frustration, learning to modulate anxiety, learning to set positive expectations. The actual optimum goals, however, will depend on the individual—some students need to dampen anxiety to succeed, while others may need to elevate it somewhat. Consequently, it is essential that the models, prompts, guides, and rubrics must also be varied enough to accommodate the full range of students who will need support.

Image of student manipulating paper images and icons on a chart to denote schedule for the day.

Student using icons and images to plan and follow the schedule of classes for the day selects and places the symbol for mathematics to denote her next class.

Many websites are available to structure setting goals for students. This commercial website is one example of templates and information for teachers to use in setting goals for students of all abilities. http://www.educationworld.com/tools_templates/index.shtml

9.2 Options that scaffold coping skills and strategies to promote emotional self-regulation

When in the assessment situation, setting goals for self-regulation is explicitly affective—learning to avoid frustration, learning to modulate anxiety, learning to set positive expectations. The actual optimum goals, however, will depend on the individual—some students need to dampen anxiety to succeed, while others may need to elevate it somewhat. Consequently, it is essential that the models, prompts, guides, and rubrics must also be varied enough to accommodate the full range of students who will need support.

Resources on "Coping Skills for Kids Brain Works Project" - see this informational website for teachers, and students: http://www.copingskills4kids.net/

9.3 Options that develop self-assessment and reflection to promote emotional self-regulation

In order to develop better capacity for self-regulation in all situations including assessment and instruction, students need to monitor their, status emotions and reactivity carefully and accurately. Individuals differ considerably in their capability and propensity for such monitoring, and some students will need explicit instruction, modeling and scaffolding in order to do this successfully. For many students, merely recognizing that they are making progress toward greater independence is highly motivating. Alternatively, one of the key factors in students losing motivation is their inability to recognize their own progress. It is important, moreover, that students have multiple models and scaffolds of different techniques so that they can identify, and choose, those that are optimal.