Know the facts

UDL Guidelines - Version 2.0: Research Evidence

Checkpoint 7.3: Minimize threats and distractions

III. Provide Multiple Means of Engagement

Recruiting Interest


The following experimental and quantitative evidence illustrates the importance of creating learning environments that vary in their perceived threats and distractions in order to increase student engagement and achievement. A majority of studies focus upon the advantage of positive behavior support as a way to deter behavior that distracts from learning. Other studies investigate the benefits of extrinsic rewards to develop intrinsic motivation. Finally, other articles examine the impact of music, noise, and unfamiliar environments and school personnel upon student learning. The scholarly reviews and expert opinions focus primarily upon positive behavior support and the importance of creating non-threatening educational settings for students.

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Experimental and Quantitative Evidence:

Cameron, J., & Pierce, W. D. (1994). Reinforcement, reward, and intrinsic motivation: A meta-analysis. Review of Educational Research, 64(3), 363-423.

Cameron, J., & Pierce, W. D. (2006). Rewards and intrinsic motivation: Resolving the controversy. Charlotte, North Carolina: Information Age Publishing.

Carver, C. S., & Scheier, M. F. (2005). Engagement, disengagement, coping, and catastrophe. In A. J. Elliot, & C. S. Dweck (Eds.), Handbook of competence and motivation (pp. 527-547). New York, NY: Guilford Press.

Cassidy, G. (2007). The effect of background music and background noise on the task performance of introverts and extraverts. Psychology of Music, 35(3), 517-537.

Dalla Bella, S., Perets, I., Rousseau, L., & Gosselin, N. (2001). A developmental study of the affective value of tempo and mode in music. Cognition, 80(3), B1-B10.

Deci, E. L., Koestner, R., & Ryan, R. M. (1999). A meta-analytic review of experiments examining the effects of extrinsic rewards on intrinsic motivation. Psychological Bulletin, 125(6), 627-668.

Deci, E. L. (2001). Extrinsic rewards and intrinsic motivation in education: Reconsidered once again. Review of Educational Research, 71(1), 1-27.

Flink, C., Boggiano, A. K., & Barrett, M. (1990). Controlling teaching strategies: Undermining children's self-determination and performance. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 59(5), 916-924.

Fredrickson, B. L. (1998). What good are positive emotions? Review of GeneralPsychology, 2(3), 300-319.

Fredrickson, B. L., & Branigan, C. (2005). Positive emotions broaden the scope of attention and thought-action repertoires. Cognition and Emotion, 19(3), 313-332.

Fuchs, D. (1985). The effect of examiners' personal familiarity and professional experience on handicapped children's test performance. Journal of Educational Research, 78(3), 141-146.

Fuchs, D. (1987). Effects of examiner familiarity on LD and MR students' language performance. Remedial and Special Education (RASE), 8(4), 47-52.

Fuchs, D., & Fuchs, L. S. (1986). Test procedure bias: A meta-analysis of examiner familiarity effects. Review of Educational Research, 56(2), 243-262.

Fuchs, D., & Fuchs, L. S. (1989). Effects of examiner familiarity on Black, Caucasian, and Hispanic children: A meta-analysis. Exceptional Children, 55(4), 303-308.

Fuchs, D., Zern, D. S., & Fuchs, L. S. (1983). A microanalysis of participant behavior in familiar and unfamiliar test conditions. Exceptional Children, 50(1), 75-77.

Furnham, A., & Strbac, L. (2002). Music is as distracting as noise: The differential distraction of background music and noise on the cognitive test performance of introverts and extraverts. Ergonomics, 45(3), 203-217.

Hickey, D., & McCaslin, M. (2001). A comparative, sociocultural analysis of context and motivation. In S. Volet, & S. Jarvela (Eds.), Motivation in context: Theoretical advances and methodological implications (pp. 33-55). Elmsford, NY: Pergamon Press.

Hutchinson, M., & Gul, F. A. (1997). The interactive effects of extroversion/introversion traits and collectivism/individualism cultural beliefs on student group learning preferences. Journal of Accounting Education, 15(1), 95-107.

Immordino-Yang, M. H., & Damasio, A. R. (2007). We feel, therefore we learn: The relevance of affective and social neuroscience to education. Mind, Brain, and Education, 1(1), 3-10.

Iyengar, S., & Lepper, M. (1999). Rethinking the value of choice: A cultural perspective on intrinsic motivation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 76(3), 349-366.

Kincaid, D., Knoster, T., Harrower, J. K., Shannon, P., & Bustamante, S. (2002). Measuring the impact of positive behavior support. Journal of Positive Behavioral Interventions, 4(2), 109-117.

Luiselli, J. K., Putnam, R. F., & Sunderland, M. (2002). Longitudinal evaluation of behavior support intervention in a public middle school. Journal of Positive Behavioral Interventions, 4(3), 182-188.

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.

McCurdy, B. L., Mannella, M. C., & Eldridge, N. (2003). Positive behavior support in urban schools: Can we prevent the escalation of antisocial behavior. Journal of Positive Behavioral Interventions, 5(3), 158-170.

Mendes, W. B., Blascovich, J., Hunter, S. B., Lickel, B., & Jost, J. T. (2007). Threatened by the unexpected: Physiological responses during social interactions with expectancy-violating partners. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 92(4), 698-716.

Metzler, C. W., Biglan, A., Rusby, J. C., & Sprague, J. R. (2001). Evaluation of a comprehensive behavior management program to improve school-wide positive behavior support. Education and Treatment of Children, 24(4), 448-479.

Moreno, R., & Mayer, R. E. (2000). A coherence effect in multimedia learning: The case for minimizing irrelevant sounds in the design of multimedia instructional messages. Journal of Educational Psychology, 92(1), 117-125.

Nelson, J. R., Martella, R., & Marchand-Martella, N. (2002). Maximizing student learning: The effects of a comprehensive school-based program for preventing problem behaviors. Journal of Emotional and Behavioral, 10(3), 136-148.

Pappamihiel, N. E. (2001). Moving from the ESL classroom into the mainstream: An investigation of English language anxiety in Mexican girls. Bilingual Research Journal, 25(1/2), 31-38.

Skinner, E. A., Zimmer-Gembeck, M. J., & Connell, J. P. (1998). Individual differences and the development of perceived control. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 63(2-3), i-vi, 1-220.

Steele, C. M. (1997). A threat in the air: How stereotypes shape intellectual identity and performance. American Psychologist, 52(6), 613-629.

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.

Van Eck, R. (2006). The effect of contextual pedagogical advisement and competition on middle-school students' attitude toward mathematics and mathematics instruction using a computer-based simulation game. Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching, 25(2), 165-195.

Weinstein, C. S. (1979). The physical environment of the school: A review of the research. Review of Educational Research, 49(4), 577-610.

Wiersma, U. J. C. (1992). The effects of extrinsic reward on intrinsic motivation: A meta-analysis. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 65(2), 101-114.

Wiest, L. R. (2002). Aspects of word-problem context that influence children's problem-solving performance. Focus on Learning Problems in Mathematics, 24(2), 38-52.

Zins, J. E., Bloodworth, M. R., Weissberg, R. P., & Walberg, H. J. (2004). The scientific base linking social and emotional learning to school success. In J. E. Zins, R. P. Weissberg, M. C. Wang & H. J. Walberg (Eds.), Building Academic Success on Social and Emotional Learning: What Does the Research Say? (pp. 3-22). New York: Teachers College Press.

Scholarly reviews and expert opinions:

Cameron, J. (2001). Negative effects of reward on intrinsic motivation-A limited phenomenon: Comment on Deci, Koestner, and Ryan (2001). Review of Educational Research, 71(1), 29-42.

Cameron, J., Banko, K. M., & Pierce, W. D. (2001). Pervasive negative effects of rewards on intrinsic motivation: The myth continues. The Behavior Analyst, 24, 1-44.

Corey, R. (1995). Words from music: How Mozart and mangione inspire writers. Quarterly of the National Writing Project and the Center for the Study of Writing and Literacy, 17(3), 26-29.

Darch, C. B., & Kameenui, E. J. (2003). Instructional classroom management: A proactive approach to behavior management (2nd ed.). White Plains, NY: Longman.

Deci, E. L. (2001). The pervasive negative effects of rewards on intrinsic motivation: Response to Cameron (2001). Review of Educational Research, 71(1), 43-51.

Eysenck, M. W., Derakshan, N., Santos, R., & Calvo, M. G. (2007). Anxiety and cognitive performance: Attentional control theory. Emotion, 7(2), 336-353.

Greenberg, M. T., Weissberg, R. P., O'Brien, M. U., Zins, J. E., Fredericks, L., Resnik, H., et al. (2003). Enhancing school-based prevention and youth development through coordinated social, emotional, and academic learning. American Psychologist, 58(6/7), 466-474.

Horner, R. H., & Sugai, G. (2001). "Data" need not be a four-letter word: Using data to improve schoolwide discipline. Beyond Behavior, 11(1), 20-22.

Horner, R. H., Sugai, G., & Horner, H. F. (2000). A school-wide approach to student discipline. The School Administrator, 2(57), 20-23.

Horner, R. H., Sugai, G., Lewis-Palmer, T., & Todd, A. W. (2001). Teaching school-wide behavioral expectations. Report on Emotional & Behavioral Disorders in Youth, 1(4), 77-79.

Horner, R. H., Todd, A. W., Lewis-Palmer, T., Irvin, L. K., Sugai, G., & Boland, J. B. (2004). The school-wide evaluation tool (SET): A research instrument for assessing school-wide positive behavior support. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, 6(1), 3-12.

Horner, R. H., & Sugai, G. (2000). School-wide behavior support: An emerging initiative. Journal of Positive Behavioral Interventions, 2(4), 231-233.

Horner, R. H., Sugai, G., Todd, A., & Lewis-Palmer, T. (2005). School-wide positive behavior support: An alternative approach to discipline in schools. In L. Bambara, & L. Kern (Eds.), Individualized support for students with problem behaviors: Designing positive behavior plans (pp. 359-390). New York, NY: Guilford Press.

Mcleskey, J., & Waldron, N. L. (2007). Making differences ordinary in inclusive classrooms. Intervention in School and Clinic, 42(3), 162-168.

Meyer, A. (1983). Origins and prevention of emotional disturbances among learning disabled children. Topics in Learning & Learning Disabilities, 3(2), 59-70.

Netzel, D., & Eber, L. (2003). Shifting from reactive & proactive discipline in an urban school district: A change in focus through PBIS. Journal of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, 5(2), 67-71.

Scott, T. M., & Barrett, S. B. (2004). Using staff and student time engaged in disciplinary procedures to evaluate the impact of school-wide PBS. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, 6(1), 21-28.

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

Sugai, G., Horner, R. H., & Gresham, F. (2002). Behaviorally effective school environments. In M. R. Shinn, H. M. Walker, & G. Stoner (Eds.), Interventions for academic and behavior problems II: Preventive and remedial approaches (pp. 315-350). Bethesda, MD: National Association of School Psychologists.

Vygotsky, L. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Last Updated: 02/01/2011

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