Video 4: Provide options for self-regulation

Self-regulation refers to modulating emotions and the strategies used to modulate those emotions, especially when confronted with new or challenging information. Coding has a lot of ups and downs, so it is a good place for students to practice self-regulation skills and how to deal with frustrations when they arise.

Strategies for providing options for self-regulation include:

  • Teach metacognitive strategies for when students get “stuck” during computational problem solving to help them persist when frustrated. Strategies such as rubber duck debugging, where students are to explain aloud in such a way that the rubber duck, as a substitution for another person, can understand is one approach. The Debugging Detective is a tool where students are walked through a series of steps to identify bugs in their programs. 
  • Provide self-assessment and self-reflection tools like design journals or self-assessment sheets to encourage students to monitor their performance and experience.
  • Incorporate coping strategies to help learners manage stress when cognitive loads get too intense.  Strategies can include the use of biofeedback methods such as deep breathing or encouraging them to close their eyes for a short time with visual imagery.  Here, an awareness of the students’ needs, and working with professionals such as special education teachers and paraeducators to understand best strategies for particular students can be helpful to understand which strategies meet the needs of a particular student.  
  • Provide explicit instruction on skills such as asking for help, providing feedback, and using problem solving techniques.

Coding can be challenging. Designing for self-regulation assists students in persisting with challenges by focusing on self-control.

Resources related to this guideline include:

Note: We use CAST’s (2018) Version 2.2 of the Guidelines. The CAST link is similarly numbered. UDL for Teachers uses a previous version of the guidelines, so numbering and terms may vary.