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UDL Guidelines - Version 2.0: Research Evidence

Checkpoint 8.1: Heighten salience of goals and objectives

III. Provide Multiple Means of Engagement

Sustaining Effort and Persistence


Maintaining engagement over the course of any sustained lesson or project can be difficult for many learners. Research shows the importance of incorporating periodic or persistent “reminders” of both the goal and its value in order to support students in sustaining effort and concentration in the face of attractive distracters. The majority of the experimental studies listed here evaluate the effectiveness of various specific techniques for doing so: persistent display (concrete or symbolic) of the goal, prompts or scaffolds for visualizing desired outcomes, and rubrics to explicitly state goals and objectives. The scholarly reviews and opinion pieces provide more classroom-based perspectives on providing options to heighten salience of goals and objectives. Many of the articles listed here focus upon the use of rubrics in the classroom and offer an array of practical examples.

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Experimental and Quantitative Evidence:

Aboderin, A. O., & Thomas, M. (1996). An evaluation of the influence of behavioural objectives on Nigerian students' cognitive achievement in biology. Research in Science & Technological Education, 14(2), 193-204.

Andrade, H. G. (1999, April). The role of instructional rubrics and self-assessment in learning to write: A smorgasbord of findings. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Montreal, Quebec.

Barker, D., & Hapkiewicz, W. G. (1979). The effects of behavioral objectives on relevant and incidental learning at two levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy. Journal of Educational Research, 72(6), 334-339.

Blaney, J. P., & McKie, D. (1969). Knowledge of conference objectives and effect upon learning. Adult Education Quarterly, 19(2), 98-105.

Dales, G. T. (1970). Effect of precise objectives upon student achievement in health education. Journal of Experimental Education, 39(2), 20-23.

Duchastel, P. C., & Merrill, P. F. (1973). The effects of behavioral objectives on learning: A review of empirical studies. Review of Educational Research, 43(1), 53-69.

Duffy, G. G., Roehler, L. R., & Rackliffe, G. (1986). How teachers' instructional talk influences students' understanding of lesson content. The Elementary School Journal, 87(1), 3-16.

Hafner, J. C., & Hafner, P. M. (2003). Quantitative analysis of the rubric as an assessment tool: An empirical study of student peer-group rating. International Journal of Science Education, 25(12), 1509-1528.

Hartley, J., & Davies, I. K. (1976). Preinstructional strategies: The role of pretests, behavioral objectives, overviews and advance organizers. Review of Educational Research, 46(2), 239-265.

McLeod, P. J., Berdugo, G., & Meagher, T. W. (1998). Utility of educational objectives: A study of learner and program director perceptions of their value in clinical courses. Teaching and Learning in Medicine, 10(3), 152-157.

Orsmond, P., Merry, S., & Reiling, K. (2002). The use of exemplars and formative feedback when using student derived marking criteria in peer and self-assessment. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 27(4), 309-323.

Rothkopf, E. Z., & Kaplan, R. (1972). Exploration of the effect of density and specificity of instructional objectives on learning from text. Journal of Educational Psychology, 63(4), 295-302.

Schuck, R. F. (1971). The effects of set induction upon pupil achievement, retention, and assessment of effective teaching in a unit on respiration in the BSCS curricula. Science Education, 55(3), 403-415.

Schultheiss, O. C., & Brunstein, J. C. (1999). Goal imagery: Bridging the gap between implicit motives and explicit goals. Journal of Personality, 67(1), 1-38.

Skillings, M. J., & Ferrell, R. (2000). Student-generated rubrics: Bringing students into the assessment process. The Reading Teacher, 53(6), 452-455.

Sweller, J., & Levine, M. (1982). Effects of goal specificity on means-ends analysis and learning. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 8(5), 463-474.

Wittrock, M. C. (1962). Set applied to student teaching. Human Learning in the School: Readings in Educational Psychology. Journal of Educational Psychology, 53(4), 175-180.


Scholarly reviews and expert opinions:

Ainsworth, L., & Christinson, J. (1998). Student generated rubrics: An assessment model to help all students succeed. Parsippany, NJ: Pearson Learning.

Andrade, H., & Du, Y. (2005). Student perspectives on rubric-referenced assessment. Practical Assessment Research & Evaluation, 10(3), 2-11.

Andrade, H. G. (2000). Using rubrics to promote thinking and learning. Educational Leadership, 57(5), 13-18.

Andrade, H. G. (2005). Teaching with rubrics: The good, the bad, and the ugly. College Teaching, 53(1), 27-30.

Arter, J. A., & McTighe, J. (2001). Scoring rubrics in the classroom: Using performance criteria for assessing and improving student performance. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Boston, C. (2002). Understanding scoring rubrics: A guide for teachers. College Park, Maryland: ERIC Clearinghouse on Assessment and Evaluation.

Clauson, D. J. (1998). How rubrics become grades. Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, 4(2), 118-119.

Coray, G. (2000). Rubrics made simple. Science Scope, 23(6), 38-40.

Custer, R. L. (1996). Rubrics: An authentic assessment tool for technology education. Technology Teacher, 55(4), 27-37.

Eisner, E. W. (1967). Instructional and expressive educational objectives: Their formulation and use in curriculum. In W. J. Popham (Ed.), Instructional objectives (pp. 1-31). Chicago: Rand Mc Nally.

Eppink, J. A. (2002). Student-created rubrics: An idea that works. Teaching Music, 9(4), 28-32.

Farnham-Diggory, S. (1972). Cognitive processes in education: A psychological preparation for teaching and curriculum development. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers.

Fuchs, L. S., & Deno, S. L. (1982). Developing goals and objectives for educational programs. Washington, D.C.: American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.

Goodrich, H. (1997). Understanding rubrics. Educational Leadership, 54(5), 14-17.

Groeber, J. F. (2006). Designing and using rubrics for reading and language arts, K-6 (2nd  ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Guthrie, J. T. (2000). Contexts for engagement and motivation in reading. Reading Online 4(8). Retrieved August 24, 2007, from

Hall, E. W., & Salmon, S. J. (2003). Chocolate chip cookies and rubrics: Helping students understand rubrics in inclusive settings. Teaching Exceptional Children, 35(4), 8-11.

Hidi, S., & Harackiewicz, J. M. (2000). Motivating the academically unmotivated: A critical issue for the 21st century. Review of Educational Research, 70(2), 151-179.

Huffman, E. S. (1998). Authentic rubrics. Art Education, 51(1), 64-68.

Jackson, C. W., & Larkin, M. J. (2002). Rubric: Teaching students to use grading rubrics. Teaching Exceptional Children, 35(1), 40-45.

Jensen, K. (1995). Effective rubric design: Making the most of this powerful assessment tool. Science Teacher, 62(5), 34-37.

Kohn, A. (2006). The trouble with rubrics. English Journal, 95(4), 12-15.

Lazear, D. (1998). The rubrics way: Using multiple intelligences to assess understanding. Tucson, AZ: Zephyr Press.

Leonhardt, A. (2005). Using rubrics as an assessment tool in your classroom. General Music Today, 19(1), 10-16.

Liu, K. (1995). Rubrics revisited: Allowing students to assume responsibility for the quality of their work. Science Teacher, 62(7), 49-51.

Loveland, T. R. (2005). Writing standards-based rubrics for technology education classrooms: The use of rubrics goes beyond the simple need for objective grading in classrooms. Technology Teacher, 4(2), 19-23.

Lynch, V. (1983). An introduction to systematic instruction. BC Journal of Special Education, 7(1), 1-13.

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

Mertler, C. A. (2001). Designing scoring rubrics for your classroom. Practical Assessment, Research and Evaluation, 7(25), 1-10.

Moskal, B. M. (2000). Scoring rubrics: what, when and how? Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation, 7(3). Retrieved May 22, 2009, from

Phillip, C. (2002). Clear expectations: Rubrics and scoring guides. Knowledge Quest, 31(2), 26-27.

Popham, W. J. (1997). What's wrong--and what's right--with rubrics. Educational Leadership, 55(2), 72-75.

Reddin, W. J. (1971). Effective management by objectives. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Ross-Fisher, R. L. (2005). Developing effective success rubrics. Kappa Delta Pi Record, 41(3), 131-135.

Schirmer, B. R., & Bailey, J. (2000). Writing assessment rubric: An instructional approach with struggling writers. Teaching Exceptional Children, 33(1), 52-58.

Spandel, V. (2006). In defense of rubrics. English Journal, 96(1), 19-22.

Tuttle, H. G. (1996). The multimedia report: Rubrics--keys to improving multimedia presentations. MultiMedia Schools, 3(1), 30-33.

Wang, J., & Rairigh, R. M. (2006). Using instructional rubrics in physical education. Teaching Elementary Physical Education, 17(3), 37-41.

Wyngaard, S., & Gehrke, R. (1996). Responding to audience: Using rubrics to teach and assess writing. English Journal, 85(6), 67-70.

Yoshina, J. M., & Harada, V. H. (2007). Involving students in learning through rubrics. Library Media Connection, 25(5), 10-14.

Last Updated: 02/01/2011

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