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Backward Design

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Tori S

on 16 February 2014

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Transcript of Backward Design

What is evidence of understanding?
What assessments will show we've achieved our results?
How do you ensure that you test for exactly the learning you want them to gain?
Step One:
Where will we end up?
What is worthy and requiring of understanding?
What results are we looking for?
What goals/standards are we going to meet?
enduring understandings
will be accomplished?
Step Three: How do we get there?
What learning experiences and teaching promote understanding, interest and excellence?
How do you develop a lesson plan that provides students with the opportunity to reach the desired objectives?
Learning Theories
Backward design can be approached from two learning theories with potentially drastically different results.

Effectiveness in Online Learning
Backward Design gives instructors a road map with a clearly labeled finish line. This is especially helpful during the labor-intensive planning process of online learning. Having a clear goal helps instructors know exactly what materials they need to look for, without getting bogged down in the quagmire of the internet.
Check out these resources for more information.

Center for Teaching at Vanderbilt University. Understanding by Design. http://cft.vanderbilt.edu/teaching-guides/pedagogical/understanding-by-design/
Edutech Wiki. (2009). Backwards Design. http://edutechwiki.unige.ch/en/Backwards_design

McTighe, Jay, & Seif, Eliot. Indicators of Teaching for Understanding. Retrieved from https://umb.umassonline.net/bbcswebdav/pid-3180846-dt-content-rid-7954896_1/courses/B2330-6496/Lesson_2/What%20is%20Backward%20Design%20etc.pdf

Mount Shasta Companion. (2001). Backwards Design from Standards to Lesson Plans. Retrieved from https://umb.umassonline.net/bbcswebdav/pid-3180846-dt-content-rid-7954896_1/courses/B2330-6496/Lesson_2/What%20is%20Backward%20Design%20etc.pdf

Richardson, Sherilyn. Backward Design Model.

Tasmanian Department of Education. Principles of Backward Design. http://www.wku.edu/library/dlps/infolit/documents/designing_lesson_plans_using_backward_design.pdf

Wiggins, Grant, & McTighe, Jay. (2005). Understanding by Design (expanded second edition). Upper Saddle River, NJ/Alexandria, VA: Pearson Education.

Backward Design
Step Two:
How do we measure success?

. With a heavy focus on demonstrable results and assessments, it might appear that this outcomes-focused theory aligns perfectly with a behaviorist's stimulus-response perspective.

But upon deeper inspection, cognitivism lies
closer to the heart of what this model's
founders were aiming for.

The focus on the phrase
“enduring understandings”
aligns with the theory that knowledge is what we know intrinsically.

“[Learners should] theorize, interpret, use or see in perspective what they are asked to learn…
or they will not likely understand it or
grasp that their job is more than recall

- Wiggins and McTighe, 2000, p. 100
Stage 1:
What is worthy and
requiring of understanding?
Stage 2:
What is evidence of understanding?
Stage 3:
What learning experiences and teaching promote understanding, interest and excellence?
These are some
"essential questions"
to guide you
through using the
Backward Design model.
You can't start planning
you're going to teach until you know exactly
you want your students to learn.

Founded by: "Understanding by Design"
Grant Wiggins & Jay McTighe (1999)
Wiggins & McTighe (1999)
students knowing
they are headed,
they are heading there,
they know,
they might go wrong, and
is required of them


the students on a topic of inquiry

ideas and being
with the necessary understanding to master the objective

providing opportunities for students to
their work

Wiggins & McTighe
Six Facets of Understanding
Students can truly understand
when they:
Can explain
Can interpret
Can apply
Have perspective
Can empathize
Have self-knowledge

For more information about these 6 facets, see Chapter 4 of "Understanding by Design."
When you know exactly where you're going,
you know precisely the kinds of assessments to use.
Planning lessons becomes simple once you have decided what you are assessing!
Backward Design is often accused of "teaching to the test." This is an easily avoidable mistake: instructors simply need to ensure that they choose
. These assessments are characterized by their ability to assess students in a useful and meaningful way, and prove "enduring understandings" -- survey monkies need not apply!
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