Know the facts

UDL Guidelines - Version 2.0: Research Evidence

Checkpoint 7.2: Optimize relevance, value, and authenticity

III. Provide Multiple Means of Engagement

Recruiting Interest


The experimental and quantitative evidence gathered here primarily focuses upon the use of “anchored instruction” and other techniques to enhance relevance in order to increase student engagement and achievement. These studies illustrate the power of connecting new content to relevant, “real-life” contexts. The scholarly reviews and expert opinions provide a more classroom-based perspective on anchored instruction as well as provide opinions regarding the importance of embedding the modern technology that students use in their day-to-day lives into the classroom.

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Experimental and Quantitative Evidence:

Assor, A., Kaplan, H., & Roth, G. (2002). Choice is good, but relevance is excellent: Autonomy-enhancing and suppressing teacher behaviours predicting students' engagement in schoolwork. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 72(2), 261-278.

Baker, L., & Wigfield, A. (1999). Dimensions of children's motivation for reading and their relations to reading activity and reading achievement. Reading Research Quarterly, 34(4), 452-477.

Bottge, B. A., & Hasselbring, T. S. (1993). A comparison of two approaches for teaching complex, authentic mathematics problems to adolescents in remedial math classes. Exceptional Children, 59(6), 556-566.

Bottge, B. A., & Heinrichs, M. (2002). Weighing the benefits of anchored math instruction for students with disabilities in general education classes. The Journal of Special Education, 35(4), 186-200.

Bottge, B. A., Rueda, E., Serlin, R. C., & Hung, Y. H. (2007). Shrinking achievement differences with anchored math problems: Challenges and possibilities. The Journal of Special Education, 41(1), 31-49.

Condry, J. (1977). Enemies of exploration: Self-initiated versus other-initiated learning. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 35(7), 159-177.

Etheris, A. I. (2004). Computer-supported collaborative problem solving and anchored instruction in a mathematics classroom: An exploratory study. International Journal of Learning Technology, 1(1), 16-39.

Fuchs, L. S., Fuchs, D., Finelli, R., Courey, S. J., Hamlett, C. L., Sones, E. M., et al. (2006). Teaching third graders about real-life mathematical problem solving: A randomized controlled study. The Elementary School Journal, 106(4), 293-311.

Gersten, R. (1998). Recent advances in instructional research for students with learning disabilities: An overview. Learning Disabilities Research and Practice, 13(3), 162-170.

Guthrie, J. T., McGough, K., Bennett, L., & Rice, M. E. (1996). Concept-oriented reading instruction: An integrated curriculum to develop motivations and strategies for reading. In L. Baker, P. Afflerbach & D. Reinking (Eds.), Developing engaged readers in school and home communities (pp. 165-190). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Langone, J., Malone, D. M., & Clinton, G. N. (1999). The effects of technology-enhanced anchored instruction on the knowledge of preservice special educators. Teacher Education and Special Education, 22(2), 85-96.

Leonard, J., Davis, J. E., & Sidler, J. L. (2005). Cultural relevance and computer-assisted instruction. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 37(3), 263-285.

Lepper, M. R., & Cordova, D. I. (1992). A desire to be taught: Instructional consequences of intrinsic motivation. Motivation and Emotion, 16(3), 187-208.

Mayer, R. E., Sobko, K., & Mautone, P. D. (2003). Social cues in multimedia learning: Role of speaker's voice. Journal of Educational Psychology, 95(2), 419-425.

Mechling, L. (2005). The effect of instructor-created video programs to teach students with disabilities: A literature review. TAM Board Members, 20(2), 25-36.

Nagy, W. E. (1985). Learning words from context. Reading Research Quarterly, 20(2), 233-253.

Okolo, C. M. (1992). The effect of computer-assisted instruction format and initial attitude on the arithmetic facts proficiency and continuing motivation of students with learning disabilities. Exceptionality, 3(4), 195-211.

Parker, L. E., & Lepper, M. R. (1992). Effects of fantasy contexts on children's learning and motivation: Making learning more fun. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 62(4), 625-633.

Rieth, H. J., Bryant, D. P., Kinzer, C. K., Colburn, L. K., Hur, S. J., & Hartman, P. (2003). An analysis of the impact of anchored instruction on teaching and learning activities in two ninth-grade language arts classes. Remedial and Special Education, 24(3), 173-184.

Schuh, K. L., & Farrell, C. A. (2006). Student effort, media preference, and writing quality when using print and electronic resources in expository writing. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 35(1), 61-81.

Shyu, H. Y. (1997). Anchored instruction for Chinese students: Enhancing attitudes toward mathematics. International Journal of Instructional Media, 24(1), 55-62.

Shyu, H. Y. (1999). Effects of media attributes in anchored instruction. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 21(2), 119-139.

Shyu, H. Y. C. (2000). Using video-based anchored instruction to enhance learning: Taiwan's experience. British Journal of Educational Technology, 31(1), 57-69.

Stipek, D. J. (1996). Motivation and instruction. In D. C. Berliner, & R. C. Calfee (Eds.), Handbook of educational psychology (pp. 85-113). New York: Simon & Schuster/Macmillan.

Sweet, A. P., Guthrie, J. T., & Ng, M. M. (1998). Teacher perceptions and student reading motivation. Journal of Educational Psychology, 90(2), 210-223.

Unrau, N., & Schlackman, J. (2006). Motivation and its relationship with reading achievement in an urban middle school. Journal of Educational Research, 100(2), 81-101.

Vye, N. J. (1990). The effects of anchored instruction for teaching social studies: Enhancing comprehension of setting information. Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Boston, MA.

Scholarly reviews and expert opinions:

Astleitner, H., & Wiesner, C. (2004). An integrated model of multimedia learning and motivation. Journal of Educational Multimedia & Hypermedia, 13(1), 3-21.

Baart, N. (2002). Saying it "more intensely": Using sensory experience to teach poetry writing. English Journal, 91(3), 98-103.

Barab, S., Thomas, M., Dodge, T., Carteaux, R., & Tuzun, H. (2005). Making learning fun: Quest Atlantis, a game without guns. Educational Technology Research and Development, 53(1), 86-107.

Bergin, D. A. (1999). Influences on classroom interest. Educational Psychologist, 34(2), 87-98.

Blachowicz, C. L., & Fisher, P. J. (2007). Best practices in vocabulary instruction. In L.B. Gambrell, L.M. Morrow, & M. Pressley (Eds.), Best Practices in Literacy Instruction (pp. 178-203). New York: Guilford Publications, Inc..

Bransford, J. D., Sherwood, R. D., Hasselbring, T. S., Kinzer, C. K., & Williams, S. M. (1990). Anchored instruction: Why we need it and how technology can help. In D. Nix & R. Sprio (Eds.), Cognition, Education, and Multimedia: Exploring Ideas in High Technology (pp. 115-141). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum Associates.

Bulgren, J. A., Schumaker, J. B., & Deshler, D. D. (1994). The concept anchoring routine. Lawrence, Kansas: Edge Enterprises, Inc.

Deshler, D., Schumaker, J., Bulgren, J., Lenz, K., Jantzen, J., Adams, G., et al. (2001). Making learning easier: Connecting new knowledge to things students already know. Teaching Exceptional Children, 33(4), 82-85.

Dickey, M. D. (2005). Engaging by design: How engagement strategies in popular computer and video games can inform instructional design. Educational Technology Research and Development, 53(2), 67-83.

Fredricks, J. A., Blumenfeld, P. C., & Paris, A. H. (2004). School engagement: Potential of the concept, state of the evidence. Review of Educational Research, 74(1), 59-109.

Guthrie, J. T., & Alao, S. (1997). Designing contexts to increase motivations for reading. Educational Psychologist, 32(2), 95-105.

Guthrie, J. T., & Davis, M. H. (2003). Motivating struggling readers in middle school through an engagement model of classroom practice. Reading & Writing Quarterly, 19(1), 59.

Guthrie, J. T., & Wigfield, A. (2000). Engagement and motivation in reading. In M. L. Kamil, P. B. Mosenthal, P. D. Pearson & R. Barr (Eds.), Handbook for reading research (pp. 403-422). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Heckman, P. E., & Weissglass, J. (1994). Contextualized mathematics instruction: Moving beyond recent proposals. For the Learning of Mathematics, 14(1), 29-33.

Johnson, S. C. (1995). Making a place for music in basic writing. Journal of Basic Writing, 14(2), 31-37.

Kim, H. S., & Kamil, M. L. (2003). Concept-oriented reading instruction. In A. P. Sweet, & C. E. Snow (Eds.), Rethinking reading comprehension (pp. 115-140). NY: Guilford Press.

Kinzer, C. K., Gabella, M. S., & Rieth, H. J. (1994). An argument for using multimedia and anchored instruction to facilitate mildly disabled students' learning of literacy and social studies. Technology and Disability, 3(2), 117-128.

Kolb, L. (2006). From toy to tool: Audioblogging with cell phones. Learning & Leading with Technology, 34(3), 16-20.

Marzano, R. J. (2007). The art and science of teaching. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Powell-Brown, A. (2006). Why can't I just see the movie? Fostering motivation in children who struggle with reading. Intervention in School and Clinic, 42(2), 84-90.

Prensky, M. (2005). Listen to the natives. Learning, 63(4), 8-13.

Reinking, D. (2001). Multimedia and engaged reading in a digital world. In L. Verhoeven, & C. Snow (Eds.), Literacy and motivation: Reading engagement in individuals and groups (pp. 195-221). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Scott, L. G. (1996). Writing to music. Reading Teacher, 50, 173-174.

Smith, J. L., & Herring, J. D. (1996). Literature alive: Connecting to story through the arts. Reading Horizons, 37(2), 102-115.

The Cognition and Technology Group at Vanderbilt. (1990). Anchored instruction and its relationship to situated cognition. Educational Researcher, 19(6), 2-10.

The Cognition and Technology Group at Vanderbilt. (1993). Anchored instruction and its relationship to situated cognition revisited. Educational Researcher, 33(3), 52-70.

Xin, F. (1996). Multimedia reading: Using anchored instruction and video technology in vocabulary lessons. Teaching Exceptional Children, 29(2), 45-49.

Last Updated: 02/01/2011

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