Assessment for Learning
A blog for busy K-16 educators where we share ideas, strategies, and best assessment practices
that move the learning forward.
Cathy Box, PhD
that move the learning forward.
Cathy Box, PhD
The Beauty of Backwards Design
One of the hardest things we do as teachers is plan our instructional units. Where do you start? How do you proceed? What should I teach? How long should it take? What is a good sequence for my activities? And if we're attuned to Assessment for Learning: What will mastery look like? How will I know they've got it? So many issues need to be addressed when planning. For YEARS in my biology classroom this was my approach: 1) Determine the topic or content that was to be covered 2) Start planning my activities (lecture, lab, fun group activity to review for test, test) 3) implement my plan. Then when test time rolled around - after instruction of course, I had to design and write my own test, or use one from the resources that came with my curriculum, or use one from previous years, or borrow one from a fellow teacher. I continued this approach for years and my frustration grew as students often did poorly on my tests and I just couldn't understand why. Of course there are many reasons students may underperform on a test, but I contend that I did a very poor job of planning and implementing learner centered activities that aligned with my assessment. It was top-down, teacher driven, curriculum delivery. As I grew in my profession and reflected on the success (or lack thereof) of my students, I sought ways to improve the learning for my students and came across Understanding by Design by Wiggins and McTighe. They propose a very simple yet effective solution to planning. It's used throughout the world by curriculum designers and classroom teachers and has the research to back it up. It has indeed revolutionized the way I plan. It's called Backwards Design.
Simply put, you begin with the end in mind. What would mastery look like? I always say to myself, "if my students can do this _________________, I know they've got it!" Not the multiple choice test at the end, but an authentic task that demonstrates they really have an understanding of the concept and have the knowledge and skills to apply it. Once I determine what that final assessment activity looks like, then I can plan my instruction to prepare them for the assessment.
I highly recommend using backwards design for planning your units. For college professors it works beautifully for designing your entire semester! Let's say you are planning your Technical Writing course, for example. By the end of the semester, if they can write a business proposal that meets all the technical writing criteria that you know is critical to being successful then you know they've got it! Carefully plan your instruction to teach each component, preparing them for that final assessment activity.
Click here for a template that will help you get started. You can also follow this link to get the "Cliff Note" version of UbD.
Please share your experiences with planning. Do you use backwards design? We would love to hear your suggestions. We will discuss how to sequence learner centered activities in another blog so stay tuned!
8/25/2015 01:26:28 am
8/9/2016 08:03:58 am
Thank you for the info!
8/9/2016 08:07:55 am
Glad I could help! Good luck and feel free to post questions here if needed!
10/10/2016 01:04:50 pm
Traditional design places little focus on the end goal or results. It focuses on covering material. Backward design places focus on the specific results that should be achieved which is where focus should be placed. Clear learning targets are necessary because they provide the teacher and student with a goal. They let the students know where they are headed and what success looks like. They also help the teacher hold himself or herself accountable for student success in that content area.
10/11/2016 10:31:27 am
I love that you recognize that it also lets the teacher know if they are using effective strategies. We should constantly be reflecting and changing.
10/10/2016 03:07:21 pm
How does this compare to traditional design of curriculum? Traditional Curriculum design consists of a beginning, middle, and end and is placed together in that order. Teachers instruct and don't always have the end verdict in mind. They simply desire for students to understand the concept being instructed. With this curriculum design "If my students can do _______? Then I know they've understood" students are truly tested. What are some problems that you have noticed as a student with curricular design and assessment? With traditional curricular design and assessment a students knowledge is typically assessed through the end test in mind. If the student can pass the test or quiz then they must know the content, however this is not the case. I don't like being taught to or teaching to a test. Why is it important to have clear learning targets? If a teacher has clear learning targets in mind then a test is no longer essential.
10/11/2016 10:29:11 am
I designed via "beginning, middle and end" for a long time. My students suffered! You're going to love teaching and planning with the end in mind.
10/10/2016 03:07:41 pm
Sometimes, and I feel like I've experienced this in classes I've taken, the end goal is lost in the in whirlwind of coverage. There are things that I just memorized because my end goal as a student was not learning the content, rather it was to make a good grade on the test. The tests rarely accurately assessed my knowledge of the material. More often than not, the tests were recitations of facts. I clearly remember my AP Biology class and the lack of preparation from the teacher. I think they eventually were burned out from teaching and just quit instructing. I taught myself most of what was on the AP exam, and I don't know exactly how I passed, considering I can't recall any of it now. On the other hand, I can vividly remember things where I believe this method of lesson design was used. Those are the things that have stuck with me throughout the years and things I can still apply in the real world. And while learning targets were never explicit at my school, I see now that they are very valuable in the learning process. When correctly utilized, learning targets allow everyone involved in the classroom to have a clear destination. If these had been required and used correctly at my school, I think I would have had an easier time connecting information and understanding of what I was supposed to be able to do.
10/11/2016 10:27:36 am
So we are going to try to find ways to get things to stick as well. Life-long learning...
10/10/2016 04:58:35 pm
In a traditional classroom students are not presented with what the result should be or look like. It's a continuous cycle of information, notes, and tests. As a student it can be difficult to perform well on the tests when there is no clear end goal presented. If I'm just cramming all the information into my head in order to pass a test I'm not really retaining or learning the information. Clear learning targets are important because students need to know what it is they should be able to do at the end of the unit. If my goal for students is that they can write their own poem then they need to know that's what will be expected of them. They'll be more likely to stay engaged and focused if they know they'll have to do more than take a test.
10/11/2016 10:26:15 am
Good points! We are going to try to break that cycle...
10/11/2016 07:26:39 am
Traditional teaching for me was always a straight forward, lecture, seatwork/homework, read, study, test. Repeat. The end goal was never shown or made clear, just the need to cover the material. In the 80's teachers seemed not to have the great haste to cram so much information into student heads, more of if they get it cool, if not, no big deal, the next teacher will deal with them. As a current student, I have seen great examples of a learning approach to teaching and a few poor examples of teaching still locked into the old way. I did not do good on those classes with older, more straight forward lecture-test results. Clear learning targets, such as those set out in a syllabus, make the end zone clear. I can see where I need to be and when. How we get there is the great mystery but clear targets make real sense.
10/11/2016 10:24:59 am
We'll get there! Backwards design is going to help a lot.
10/11/2016 12:50:54 pm
For me, I find most of the classes I have taken always pushed to get as much content in year complete and not focus on why the content is important. Most of my teachers just "taught for the test" and focused everything to that. We always seemed behind. I feel all of this would have been eliminated if the curriculum was set with clear learning criteria. I know I would have felt better knowing what was going to be accomplished and that would lead to how and why. So many times I would hear, and even say, "What am I going to use this for when I'm out of school?" Now as a future teacher, that statement frustrates me. Using learning targets is a way to show students how the content will relate to the real world. The mind set produced from listing the learning targets becomes positive because it encourages learning. There are no surprises and students are able to have a checklist of what needs to be done. The positive learning that is attached to learning targets is remarkable in my opinion!
10/11/2016 01:59:51 pm
This differs from traditional design in the sense that you are preparing the students for an end goal that is an activity--not a test. When students are taught to the test, class structure becomes boring and repetitive, and students lost interest. When you have a clear learning target, the teacher as well as the students have an idea of what they are doing and why they are doing it.
10/11/2016 03:21:56 pm
For my own studies, I am more motivated to learn or understand a new subject when a reason or purpose is given to me from the beginning. I prefer this because I want to know the importance of the topic I am learning and how I can use it in the future. If I am able to visualize myself using the material, I am more likely to transfer and understand it better. I now recognize these "reasons or purposes" are the clear learning targets! I think students within classrooms of traditional design of curriculum may have a difficult time finding motivation to learn something if their letter and number grades are taken out as well. What else would motivate students to learn a topic if we took these elements out of the equation? If we provide students with an end goal at the beginning of class and a reason of why they are learning the material, they may be motivated to not only learn the new material, but to explore the new material as well.
10/11/2016 07:33:49 pm
I had teachers in high school that looking back, it was very obvious that they didn't design this way. That they just taught us to pass the test and not for understanding. I would say that these teachers followed a very "traditional" way of designing. However, when I talk to teachers about design during observations they always say that they do this naturally. I think that this is a good thing that teachers are starting to make this their "normal" way to design.
10/11/2016 09:29:33 pm
The biggest difference between backwards design and traditional design is the central emphasis of the lesson design. In traditional design the focus of the lesson is generally what is suppose to be learned. Meanwhile, backwards design focuses on what the students should know and be able to do by the end of the lesson. Because of this, students tend to sit through class having little to no idea what the purpose of the lesson is in a traditional class. With backwards design, students are informed sooner rather than later, as well as reminded throughout the lesson, what the purpose of the learning is and oftentimes how it is taking place. By having the end goal in mind, students are generally more motivated in learning, more engaged in the lesson, are less distracted during class, and have a much higher retention and application rate for the knowledge and skills acquired during the lesson.
10/11/2016 11:34:02 pm
In traditional instruction, it feels like doing well on standardized tests is the main goal. Ironically, planning around this goal, does not always result in complete understanding and therefore students may not do well on these tests. Beginning with the end in mind, an end of understanding and mastery of a certain skill set or topic, is so beneficial in the lesson planning process. Clear learning targets not only help the teacher prepare, but it will give students a specific goal and motivation.
Laura Lynn Sims
10/12/2016 06:49:20 am
In a traditional design of curriculum, the classroom is as plain and simple as can be. There are a lot of appropriate visual aids and only the supplies needed to manage their schoolwork. For instance, you find that there is no expanded learning in a traditional classroom. I could fill my binder full of papers that I may not ever look at again because it would take up class time, and they could be trashed after the six weeks test. One should have inviting and engaging visuals in their classroom for the students to reference as they work on the content. The problem I notice with curricular design and assessment is the teacher was more focused on our test scores than our understanding. It is important to set clear learning targets for students to look towards while they are learning in the classroom. I know that if I have clear learning targets set it would give me a purpose to work harder to achieve a goal. When the classroom is more engaging I am able to enjoy learning more than in a traditional lecture style classroom.
10/12/2016 08:51:29 am
In traditional design, it feels like the end result is either unknown or the test at the end. Personally, I don't remember a lot of the lessons I was taught. I would memorize the facts but not get the whole concept. Clear targets are important to have so the teacher can have a goal in mind and so can the student. If a student can see what the target is, and doesn't understand it, the teacher can go over it again, instead of the student not knowing what they are supposed to know.
10/12/2016 09:42:49 am
Some teachers do a better job than others at making sure we know the big ideas and that we know our end goals. From my experience, teachers of younger grade levels did a much better job of this than higher level subjects. I remember a college level Ecology class I took that the teacher often said, "You should look for the big picture, not just the information." What did that even mean? As a student in the class, I had no idea, and I still don't know what she was talking about. In testing, we were graded on information and small facts and numbers that needed to be memorized, not applied to anything. Backwards design is a much better plan for the students and teacher, because everyone knows what is expected at the end of the lesson.
10/12/2016 10:34:21 am
The problem with current design and curriculum is that it is centered more so on surface knowledge and coverage rather than true understanding. The difference with backwards design is that the desired outcomes help shape the lesson and the lesson, if needed, can be modified to aid understanding. It is important to have clear learning targets because students have a clear objective. Also, you as the teacher with “I Can” statements can clearly see if the students are able to accomplish the “I Can”; if they cannot you can see problem areas and help to re-teach or restructure instruction so that they get it.
2/27/2017 11:14:38 pm
I feel that this does not compare to traditional design because for assessment in traditional, you use a quiz or test to see understanding, but with Backward design, your assessment is use with a project or experience, that will lead to an application that will show understanding. Some problems that I noticed as a student with traditional curricular design was that we showed up to school, we had to memorize the information and test on it. Looking back a hardly remember a time where we had application in replace of test. Some teachers and classes I remember where we did was in English, Physics and Algebra 1. In english, we had a party for the Great Gatsby after reading the book and watching movie we put our knowledge of music, dressing style and character to application. For physics we have always used experiments to fully see equations work or understand why they work. We use real life experiences as our applications. It is important to have clear learning targets because if we know where we are going, then will find that way to get to our destination. As Denzel Washington said, "you hang around a barbershop long enough, sooner or later you're going to get a haircut." "Thomas Edison conducted 1000 failed experiments. The 1001st was the light bulb...fall forward." If we set goals, learning targets, we will get their. We will struggles and spend time but we will fall forward and meet our learning targets. We will ride that school bus with our students and know that they will be there with us at the end of the destination.
2/28/2017 09:31:12 am
Through my personal experiences I feel that a lot of times teachers look at the TEKS and view them as check marks, a to-do list. They view it as something that once they have covered they can check off their list and keep moving through it. What I like about backwards design is that you can still have that check list, but instead you are checking off "if my students can do ________" so their learning, rather than your teaching. It also helps prevent teachers from moving on until the concept is learned rather than just taught. I really like the backwards design approach and I find it very easy to distinguish which teachers use it and which do not. Definitely something I plan to implement.
2/28/2017 07:16:14 pm
As I think back to high school, I remember that most of my teachers used a more traditional approach; we were taught "to the test," or were just worried about covering everything (despite the fact that we never seemed to get as far as the teacher wanted to go). However, there are a couple of classes that stood out from the bunch, and I now realize that those teachers implemented their own type of backwards design. Instead of teaching "to the test," they taught to the desired /results/ of the "test," in whatever form it took. Sure, we had typical quizzes and tests to asses our knowledge of the facts in those particular classes, but we were also assessed in applying the knowledge and skills we learned to different tasks that not only facilitated our understanding of the concepts, but also led me to actual enjoy the class itself. When learning and application targets are set and provided for the class, it clarifies the purpose and allows students to see why they're learning what they are. I think that in this way, backwards design helps give students a sense of real-world relevance to what they're doing, which in turn facilitates true engagement and furthers a desire to explore. It also allows teachers a flexible means by which to assess students as well as themselves.
2/28/2017 09:30:11 pm
When I look back on some of my high school classes, I see that students were just taught the right things to answer on the test and not taught how those answers fit into the bigger picture. The lessons were consisted of giving us information to get us to the next test, but that was the only end goal we had. As a student, I pretty much figured out exactly how much effort I needed to put out to get the grade I wanted and didn't focus on if I was really mastering the information. I really wish that I hadn't done this because now I can't recall much of that information because I only stored it for the amount of time that I needed it. If there had been a set learning target that the class really honed in on, not just by putting it on the board, by really oriented around mastering a certain concept or time period, I might have been more motivated to really focus on that. The learning target would have been my primary goal instead of just getting the "A" like what most teachers focus on.
2/28/2017 11:22:17 pm
I feel like most teachers just look at what they are required to teach (or want to teach) and then base their test on that the best they can, similar to what you did as a young teacher. The problem with curricular design and assessment is that teachers teach the material required but maybe not in a way that students will be able to retain because the teacher does not have end-goals in mind. If the teacher has the end goal for student understanding in mind when designing learning targets, the lessons will fall in line and so will student success when it comes to understanding the desired outcome when it is assessment time.
3/1/2017 06:49:51 am
What has bothered me in the past about how my teachers, especially in high school, based our mastery of their subject is how well we did on a multiple choice test, whether it be theirs or an AP test. All of their instruction, curriculum, and assessment was focused on doing well on that test. It didn't matter if a particular concept was lost on half the class; we had to move on in order for us to get through everything that is going to be on the test. We would take practice test in order to learn how to take tests. Didn't understand what the question was asking? Move on! Maybe the next question will make more sense. Not a good test taker? Too bad! You have to take this test in order to past the class. Wouldn't have made more sense for your students to have a deep understanding of your subject instead of teaching tips and tricks on how to pass a test? If they truly comprehend what you are teaching, won't good test scores come naturally?
3/1/2017 10:00:20 am
There have been so many times I have just memorized everything because my goal was the grade rather than the learning. I can get an A in a class as long as I figure out how the class is run. It’s sad that my end goal is the grade instead of learning, but I feel like that is only partly on me as a student. I think the other part of that is the teacher. I don’t recall ever knowing learning targets in my classes. I feel like, correctly used, learning targets could really help and support the teacher.
3/1/2017 10:57:14 am
I find that the biggest gaps in my education come from classes that were traditionally based, where we just go into the class, sit down, hear a lecture, get a review, and memorize the answers to get a good grade on the test. The problem with this method is that the students are not actually consuming knowledge of the subject. I feel like learning targets and classroom goals could improve this. As a student, if I would've known exactly what we were reaching for and where we were trying to end up as far as understanding content, I would have been much more confident in what I was trying to learn.
10/14/2017 12:49:38 pm
I think that clear learning targets are important in a classroom because not only do they give the teacher a good goal to reach but they give students a clear idea of where the lesson is going and what they are supposed to be learning. When teachers have learning targets and goals set, I think it is easier for them to teach what is important for the students to understand. The teacher knows what she wants the end results to look like, so she can give the students what is necessary to make it to that goal. When students have an idea of what they are learning and where they are going it is easy for them to be focused and engaged!
10/15/2017 11:31:19 am
Traditional design is used to cover the topics that each subject is required to do. Instead of focusing on a goal of learning, it focuses on passing a test. As a student, I find sometimes a lesson could be really interesting, but when we get to the test, sometimes there are more questions over things I did not know. Learning targets allow students to know what they need to learn from a lesson, as well as keep the teacher on track of what the student's goals will be and how to execute that learning objective.
10/15/2017 02:20:57 pm
As a student, curricular design and assessment never helped me actually learn material or understand it. I would simply go through the motions and memorize the material so I could pass the test. I don't ever remember going into one of my middle school/high school classes knowing that the teacher was going to tell me the learning targets or that I would know exactly what I would be learning that day. When I began my college education, it was completely different. I enjoyed going to class and diving deeper into my learning because I knew what my outcome was going to be. For those certain classes, I knew what the end goal was and I pushed myself to reach it. Backwards design helps both the teacher and the student become more engaged in the lessons and I think it should be implemented in every classroom.
10/15/2017 06:13:29 pm
I think that learning targets and having some goal in mind as a student helps tremendously because you are able to focus in on what is important. When the design is done the traditional way it seems like the lessons meander around a little bit with a lot of filler information that is not necessarily needed, or even worse the teacher taught from the test that came with the book so you only learned how to recognize one particular type of problem about a concept instead of actually learning the concept. If you can design the lesson from the ending then you know what information is needed and can cut out the filler, and with Understanding by Design the assessment is not a test that has to be taught for but instead it is some activity, project, or presentation that shows their understanding.
10/15/2017 10:56:32 pm
I feel like, in my experience, traditional design of curriculum has been very facts and information-based. Teachers seem to only be concerned about coverage and getting mass amounts of information out to their students as fast as they can. Even if there were fun activities to go along with the overload of information, there didn't seem to be a goal behind it. I feel like the goal of many of my educators was to teach for the retention of information that was going to be on a standardized test and not for actual learning and knowledge growth. Having clear learning targets focuses the teacher and the students on what is actually valuable for them to gain from the lessons.
10/16/2017 06:14:42 am
I have been in a class before where it seemed like we did lots of "busy" work that didn't really have any purpose other than to frustrate everyone. The questions where challenging, and often did not completely align with the notes. Mostly everyone in the class could not transfer what they "learned" from the notes to these assignments. The teacher had to cover so much material that they felt that this was the best way to keep moving forward, even though the majority of the class didn't understand what they were doing or why they were doing it. The problem with this design is that we, the students, could not see the end goal, and did not understand what we were being taught.
10/16/2017 07:05:29 am
In Traditional teaching, it's all just a routine. Nothing needs to be planned, but, rather, can just be done off the cuff in any department. Sure, some students will understand "u substitution" in Calculus just from your simple teach it on the board and then take a quiz/test tactics. However, many students would more than likely learn and understand the material so much easier if it was taught through something like Backwards Design. In many classes, it can be difficult to identify learning targets without being told what they are. However, if we give our students set goals to reach for, they can more clearly see the end goal and what they need to do to get there, as well as what we will be doing to help them get there.
10/16/2017 07:20:02 am
Some problems I've had as a student with curricular design and assessment are that after preparing for the test I've been able to do well on the test, but that alone doesn't doesn't mean I understood the concept and how it fits in with the big picture. Just because a student can do well on a multiple choice test does not demonstrate understanding. Your second paragraph, "What would mastery look like? I always say to myself, 'if my students can do this _________________, I know they've got it!'" is a much more effective model for learning. I can think of many teachers who I've had from social studies, math, and other subjects, that have not used this model and instead used that top-down approach. This model, as opposed to the top-down model, not only is more effective in cultivating learning, but it's also much more engaging and much more fun to be in a class where it's implemented, which in turn leads to even more learning!
10/16/2017 10:27:06 am
10/16/2017 11:27:38 am
Comparing backwards design to a traditional classroom is a polar opposite of one another, but is a process in which results in student success because there is a clear understanding of the end goal or “what the student is supposed to know”. I know currently in my pre-teaching state. I feel overwhelmed with creating a lesson that is student centered, that is enraging for my students and allows them to take part in the lesson and not just listen and take notes. However, looking at the big picture that is more teacher centered. In order to be truly student centered you must be focused on the student’s success and the end picture, then develop your lessons based on learning targets. Without learning targets, it is easy to get overwhelmed and consumed by overloading information, fun activities, and student involvement, where in the end, it results in a question of “What was all of that for? Did they even learn the information they needed to know? Did I even teach the information I was meaning to emphasize?” Learning objectives keep the lessons and learning in check. They are stepping stones to student success. By creating learning objectives ahead of time, you can easily follow along the path adjusting time, and content to meet the learning objective at hand so that you don’t get off task and students can learn what is intended.
3/12/2018 08:05:53 pm
Backwards design is the opposite of what we see in the traditional classroom. instead of building little by little to get a big picture, you start with the big picture and break off each lesson. It makes more sense to use a backward design because every lesson has a specific focus and purpose. I know through grade school I would sit through lessons that seemed like they were taught without a purpose and a reason. With a backward design their is a clear purpose and objective for each lesson. Some problems that I have noticed, as with curricular design and assessment is that sometimes it is not clear with the teacher wants us to learn until the study guide or test comes out. It is important to have clear learning targets because if not the student can get frustrated. If I do not know what im supposed to learn until the end of the unit then I have wasted a lot of time and I now have to cram for a test. By letting students what they should focus on and what they should learn it allows students to keep perspective when learning.
3/13/2018 02:21:34 pm
Traditional design is typically used to teach the basic topics that a subjects curriculum is required to be taught. Instead of actually focusing on a common goal of learning the material, it just focuses on passing a future test. Just because a student is able to pass a multiple choice test does not necessary demonstrate a true grasp of understanding.
3/16/2018 10:36:33 pm
The traditional method is one of limits. If we are to help our students seek true understanding then we must have the goal in mind first. If we just fight our way through with difficult vocabulary we expect our students to memorize, and concepts that are extremely abstract then we will be unable to reach most students. I know from my experiences that most lessons made on the fly with not real outcome planed first will usually lead to misunderstanding or chaos.
3/17/2018 11:03:30 am
Traditional design and delivery generally goes like this: Look at TEKS, find activities to teach TEKS, give homework, quick review, take test, do another heavy review a few months later, hope students pass standardized test. In comparison backwards design just seems to make more sense. We could still do reviews before the big test came, but if we are guaranteeing that our students are mastering the topic not just by passing a test then we can almost guarantee that they will pass the STARR at the end of the year, because they genuinely learned the material, they didn't just memorize and regurgitate. If we all focused on students learning and retaining all of our students would be better off in years to come because they KNOW the information.
3/18/2018 05:27:03 pm
Traditionally I've found that teachers start at the beginning and work their way back. For example, they look at their TEKs, plan a lesson, deliver that lesson, then assess--usually reviewing some notes we've taken in class. I always had a bit of a problem with this because I would always end up working to learn for the test ahead and leaving behind information that was deemed irrelevant simply because it was not showing up on the test. It is important to have clear learning targets and goals so that students will understand the overall purpose of the material the teacher is trying to teach them, and not simply memorizing the material, but truly learning it to the point where it simply sticks in their mind.
3/18/2018 06:26:14 pm
Backwards design is I technique I rarely saw in my classrooms. When this happened many times, I found questions on a test that were never talked about or even mentioned. This was frustrating since I like many other students did study but had grades that showed otherwise. This lead to almost giving up since it was almost impossible to pass since you never knew what would be on the test. I now know as a teacher that it is important to keep the end in mind to make sure I teach my students correctly. If I do not know what I need them to accomplish neither will they.
3/19/2018 11:14:18 am
I have only seen this backwards design in the last few years of my learning. It certainly seems much more reasonable than a common curriculum design. Most of my learning in school involved learning information, retaining what information I deemed viable (or what the teacher laid out as viable for the next test) and then losing most of that information post-test. clear learning targets are so important, because with them, a student can have a goal to work toward, an innate motivation to learn. This also provides the teacher with a focused lesson plan, aiming for that competency in their students.
3/20/2018 10:58:27 pm
From a students perspective I much rather have approach each assignment with an ending result in mind. It makes my work much more productive and goal oriented. With that being said, I feel that backwards design helps in this process of providing your students with some type of end result to strive for. In other words, a learning target to strive for. Although I haven’t seen much of this design in my learning until my recent years as a college student, I hope to implement backwards design into my delivery of a lesson as a band director.
3/22/2018 10:49:43 am
In traditional design students aren't taught mastery of a subject, they are taught for the test. Long term this is not helpful to the student. I believe it is important to have clear learning targets so that the student knows exactly what they need to do. I have been in classes before where I wasn't exactly sure what was expected of me so my engagement and willingness to excel goes down. Backwards design lets the student know exactly what is expected and helps the teacher know if the student has a true mastery and understanding.
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I am a former science teacher and currently work at Lubbock Christian University as the QEP Director and in the School of Education preparing future teachers. I am passionate about helping teachers find practical ways to improve learning!