Modified Distance, Pace, or Duration

UDL 5.3

Modified Distance, Pace, or Duration refers to any adjustment in distance, pace, or duration that allows students to complete tasks with success (e.g., decreasing 15 warm-up laps around a gymnasium to 8 laps, reducing a sprinting pace to a jog/walk, minimizing duration at a fitness station from 5 minutes to 3 minutes). Modified Distance, Pace, or Duration is typically implemented in the physical education (PE) setting, and expectations are explained before students engage in the tasks to guide student participation and performance. On the other hand, this strategy can also be applied in the classroom setting by allowing a student to work at a modified pace or duration of time (e.g., complete 10 math problems instead of 20 in 10 minutes, work for 7-8 minutes then take a 1 minute break before continuing independent work). Modifying Distance, Pace, or Duration supports students by making tasks achievable thereby instilling a sense of accomplishment for students.

Implementation Tips

Distance, Pace, or Duration Record Logs
Track individual student modifications and progress over time using Modified Distance, Pace, or Duration record logs, such as this [[ | free printable version ]]. This document can also be shared with any related service providers (e.g., Occupational Therapist, Physical Therapist) that work with the student.
Planning Physical Activities
Review a student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) before planning to make modifications to distance, pace, or duration of an activity. For example, a student with motor dysfunction may need a reduction by 50% in distance, pace, and duration in comparison to a general education requirement.
Introducing Modified Distance, Pace, or Duration
Show a student their individualized record log and explain how it’s customized based on their needs and fitness level (e.g., “This log will be used to track results and to set future physical fitness goals!”). Make sure students clearly understand the physical requirements for each activity (e.g., how far, how fast, how long).
Conducting Observations
Observe students perform selected activities with Modified Distance, Pace, or Duration. Create a system to note a student’s physical exertion levels, heart rate, and attitude/engagement with each activity using a 1-10 scale, or print this [[ | free version ]]. Use this information to make further modifications if needed.
Establishing A Daily Routine
Establish a consistent routine for students to follow when coming to class (e.g., students will receive their record logs, record logs will be reviewed with teacher support, checks for understanding will take place before a Modified Distance, Pace, or Duration activity begins).
Implementing Modified Pace or Duration In The Classroom
Adjust the pace or duration required for certain assignments during academics times based on individual needs. For example, require a student to read for 8-12 minutes instead of 15-20 minutes before presenting an oral summary of what they read, allowing for increased retention and checks for understanding.


Mastering Physical Education Goals
After reviewing a student’s IEP and observing the student’s physical ability levels, a teacher decides to set goals and modify required distance, pace, and duration for upcoming physical activities. First, the duration of activity engagement is reduced from 20 minutes to 15 minutes. To compensate for the time difference, the student is directed to complete 7 out of 10 laps around the gymnasium at a walking pace in lieu of a jogging pace. Next, the student is asked to complete 5 out of the 10 reps of squats, pushups, and curl-ups. As the student successfully achieves goals, positive reinforcement is provided (e.g., “Wow, what a great accomplishment!”).
Increasing Retention of Content
At the end of a 25 minute independent reading session, a third grade teacher notices that a student is having difficulty orally recalling the content read (e.g., who, what, when, where, why, how story elements). To support the student with more frequent check-ins, build retention, and gradually increase reading stamina, the teacher decides to modify the required reading duration (e.g., two smaller increments of ten minutes before requiring the student to orally present the details of the content). The teacher starts the time by providing a verbal command, such as “Ready, set, read!” The teacher also lets the student know when it is time to rest and restart again.

Related Strategies