17 April 2024

Provide flexible options to support student interest

Suggestion for implementing the strategy ‘Supporting engagement in learning’

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Explore the 'recruiting interest' guideline.

Recognise which approaches and strategies are already part of your practice.

Take note of anything you hadn't considered before.

Support choice and autonomy

Support choice and autonomy

Students from Rototuna Junior High School describe what it's like to learn in a large, open, flexible environment.

Increase relevance and value

Increase relevance and value

Students are more likely to engage when they have the ability to make choices about:

  • tools and resources they might use (digital and non-digital)
  • methods to share their ideas and understanding
  • subject content
  • how they physically and virtually access an environment
  • order of learning tasks
  • when to sit assessments
  • who they might access for help
  • the process to finish or complete a task
  • who they might work and collaborate with.

Minimise threats and distractions

Minimise threats and distractions

Noise, movement, class layout and changes to routine affect students in different ways.

Consider how you will plan for your variable learners.

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Source: Ministry of Education | Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga

Ministry of Education | Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga

Reflection questions

Reflection questions

How can I/we:
  • Provide options and flexible pathways within tasks or a lesson?
  • Involve all students in creating choices?
  • Offer options that align with learning preferences and needs?
  • Provide classroom activities and materials that students are able to personalise?
  • Provide culturally relevant classroom activities, materials, and contexts?
  • Offer multiple strategies to support problem solving?
  • Introduce ideas and concepts in ways that capture students imagination?
  • Create a safe and distraction free environment?
  • Build flexibility into lessons to allow breaks?
  • Collect ongoing student feedback in different ways to inform the design of lessons, resources, and materials?

Source: Adapted from Arizona Department of Education

Useful resources

Useful resources

7 Budget friendly ways to promote student engagement

7 Budget-friendly ways to promote student engagement

Read time: 14 min

Seven practical suggestions supporting student engagement in the classroom. The excerpts are from Universal Design for Learning in Action by Whitney H. Rapp.

Publisher: Brookes Publishing

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5 ways to improve student voice and choice

Five practical suggestions to support student engagement in the classroom through student voice and choice.

Publisher: 4 O'Clock Faculty

Visit website

Next steps

More suggestions for implementing the strategy “Provide multiple means of Engagement”:

Return to the guide “Universal Design for Learning”

Guide to Index of the guide: Universal Design for Learning

Strategies for action: