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UDL Guidelines - Version 2.0: Research Evidence

Checkpoint 6.2: Support planning and strategy development

II. Provide Multiple Means of Action and Expression

Executive Function


Learning can be inaccessible when it requires planning and strategy development, and where there are no options for individuals who differ in such executive functions. Young children, older students in a new domain, or any student with one of the disabilities that compromise executive functions (e.g. ADHD, ADD, Autism Spectrum Disorders) often are weak at planning and strategy development and impulsive trial and error dominates their learning.  The experimental studies collected here suggest a variety of options to help students become more planful and strategic – explicit strategy instruction for planning and revising, concept mapping, etc. The scholarly reviews and expert opinions provide a more classroom based perspective on effectively supporting students’ planning and strategy development.

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Experimental and Quantitative Evidence:

Chalk, J. C., Hagan-Burke, S., & Burke, M. D. (2005). The effects of self-regulated strategy development on the writing process for high school students with learning disabilities. Learning Disability Quarterly, 28(1), 75-88.

De La Paz, S. (2007). Managing cognitive demands for writing: Comparing the effects of instructional components in strategy instruction. Reading & Writing Quarterly, 23(3), 249-266.

De La Paz, S., & Graham, S. (1997). Strategy instruction in planning: Teaching students with learning and writing disabilities to compose persuasive and expository essays. Learning Disability Quarterly, 20(3), 227-248.

Englert, C. S., Manalo, M., & Zhao, Y. (2004). I can do it better on the computer: The effects of technology-enabled scaffolding on young writers' composition. Journal of Special Education Technology, 19(1), 5-22.

Englert, C. S., Wu, X., & Zhao, Y. (2005). Cognitive tools for writing: Scaffolding the performance of students through technology. Learning Disabilities Research & Practice, 20(3), 184-198.

Englert, C. S., Yong, Z., Dunsmore, K., Collings, N. Y., & Wolbers, K. (2007). Scaffolding the writing of students with disabilities through procedural facilitation: Using an internet-based technology to improve performance. Learning Disability Quarterly, 30(1), 9-29.

Fleming, V. M. (2002). Improving students' exam performance by introducing study strategies and goal setting. Teaching of Psychology, 29(2), 115-119.

Graham, S. (1997). Executive control in the revising of students with learning and writing difficulties. Journal of Educational Psychology, 89(2), 223-234.

Graham, S., Harris, K. R., & Mason, L. (2005). Improving the writing performance, knowledge, and self-efficacy of struggling young writers: The effects of self-regulated strategy development. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 30(2), 207-241.

Graham, S., & Perin, D. (2007). A meta-analysis of writing instruction for adolescent students. Journal Educational Psychology, 99(3), 445-476.

Graham, S., MacArthur, C., Schwartz, S., & Page-Voth, V. (1992). Improving the compositions of students with learning disabilities using a strategy involving product and process goal setting. Exceptional Children, 58(4), 322-334.

Graves, A. (1990). The effects of procedural facilitation on the story composition of learning disabled students. Learning Disabilities Research, 5(2), 88-93.

Harris, K. R., Graham, S., & Mason, L. H. (2006). Improving the writing, knowledge, and motivation of struggling young writers: Effects of self-regulated strategy development with and without peer support. American Educational Research Journal, 43(2), 295-340.

Meltzer, L. (2007). Executive function in education: From theory to practice. New York, NY: Guilford Press.

Montague, M. (1991). Planning, procedural facilitation, and narrative composition of junior high students with learning disabilities. Learning Disabilities Research and Practice, 6(4), 219-224.

Quinlan, T. (2004). Speech recognition technology and students with writing difficulties: Improving fluency. Journal of Educational Psychology, 96(2), 337-346.

Rademacher, J. A., Schumaker, J. B., & Deshler, D. D. (1996). Development and validation of a classroom assignment routine for inclusive settings. Learning Disability Quarterly, 19(3), 163-177.

Saddler, B. (2006). Increasing story-writing ability through self-regulated strategy development: Effects on young writers with learning disabilities. Learning Disability Quarterly, 29(4), 291-305.

Saddler, B., & Asaro, K. (2007). Increasing story quality through planning and revising: Effects on young writers with learning disabilities. Learning Disabilities Quarterly, 30(4), 223-234.

Saddler, B., Moran, S., Graham, S., & Harris, K. R. (2004). Preventing writing difficulties: The effects of planning strategy instruction on the writing performance of struggling writers. Exceptionality, 12(1), 3-17.

Sturm, J. M., & Rankin-Erickson, J. L. (2002). Effects of hand-drawn and computer-generated concept mapping on the expository writing of middle school students with learning disabilities. Learning Disabilities Research & Practice, 17(2), 124-139.

Troia, G. A., & Graham, S. (2002). The effectiveness of a highly explicit, teacher-directed strategy instruction routine: Changing the writing performance of students with learning disabilities. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 35(4), 290-305.

Troia, G. A., Graham, S., & Harris, K. R. (1999). Teaching students with learning disabilities to mindfully plan when writing. Exceptional Children, 65(2), 235-252.

Wong, B. Y., Butler, D. L., Ficzere, S. A., & Kuperis, S. (1996). Teaching low achievers and students with learning disabilities to plan, write, and revise opinion essays. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 29(2), 197-212.

Zipprich, M. A. (1995). Teaching web making as a guided planning tool to improve student narrative writing. Remedial and Special Education, 16(1), 3-15.

Scholarly reviews and expert opinions:

Baker, S., Gersten, R., & Scanlon, D. (2002). Procedural facilitators and cognitive strategies: Tools for unraveling the mysteries of comprehension and the writing process, and for providing meaningful access to the general curriculum. Learning Disabilities Research & Practice, 17(1), 65-77.

Dawson, P., & Guare, R. (2004). Executive skills in children and adolescents: A practical guide to assessment and intervention. New York, NY: The Guilford Press.

Graham, S., & Harris, K. R. (2005). Improving the writing performance of young struggling writers: Theoretical and programmatic research from the center on accelerating student learning. The Journal of Special Education, 39(1), 19-33.

MacArthur, C. A. (1996). Using technology to enhance the writing processes of students with learning disabilities. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 29(4), 344-354.

Pressley, M., Goodchild, F., Fleet, J., Zajchowski, R., & Evans, E. D. (1989). The challenges of classroom strategy instruction. The Elementary School Journal, 89(3), 301-342.

Pressley, M., Yokoi, L., Rankin, J., Wharton-McDonald, R., & Mistretta, J. (1997). A survey of the instructional practices of grade 5 teachers nominated as effective in promoting literacy. Scientific Studies of Reading, 1(2), 145-160.

Rankin, V. (1999). The thoughtful researcher: Teaching the research process to middle school students. Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited, Inc..

Rose, D., & Rose, K. (2007). Executive function processes: A curriculum-based intervention. In L. Meltzer (Ed.), Executive function in education (pp. 287-308). New York: Guilford Press.

Last Updated: 02/01/2011

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