Backward Design Template - PowerPoint

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					    Understanding by Design

    Understanding the
     Big Idea of UbD
      Candace Wallace, Director of Curriculum & Testing
      3 Stages of
  “Backward” Design

   1. Identify desired results

2. Determine acceptable evidence

  3. Plan learning experiences
           & instruction
         Why “backward”?
The stages are logical but they go against

We‟re used to jumping to lesson and activity ideas -
before clarifying our performance goals for students

By thinking through the assessments upfront, we
ensure greater alignment of our goals and means, and
that teaching is focused on desired results
  Understanding by Design Template:
       the basis of Exchange
 The ubd template
  embodies the 3 stages of
  “Backward Design”
 The template provides an
  easy mechanism for
  exchange of ideas
 The template is available
  from the Department of
  Curriculum & Testing
       The “big ideas” of each stage:

                                                 Understandings              Essential Questions

     Unpack the content          s

 standards and content focus

        on big ideas

                                        What are the big ideas?

                                                               Assessment Evidence
 Analyze multiple sources of           Performance T ask(s):                Other Evidence:

evidence, aligned with Stage 1   s

                                 2         What’s the evidence?

                                                               Learning Activities
 Derive the implied learning     s

      from Stages 1 & 2          t

                                        How will we get there?

  These are the elements of each stage.

   Stage 1             Stage 2         Stage 3

U Understandings   T     Task(s)     L
Q Questions        R     Rubric(s)     Plan

CS Content         OE    Other
   Standards             Evidence
K Knowledge
  & Skill
                 The Unit Plan
There are many „doorways‟ into successful design
             – you can start with...
    Content standards
    Performance goals
    A key resource or activity
    A required assessment
    A big idea, often misunderstood
    An important skill or process
    An existing unit or lesson to edit
      Misconception Alert:
     the work is non-linear

 Clarifying one element or Stage often
  forces changes to another
  element or Stage
 The template “blueprint” is logical but
  the process is non-linear (think: home
  The big ideas provide a way to connect
           and recall knowledge

  Critical      Parallel
  Analysis      concepts       Inference

Investigation                 Relationship
“Big Ideas” are typically revealed
              via –
 Core concepts
 Focusing themes
 On-going debates/issues
 Insightful perspectives
 Illuminating paradox/problem
 Organizing theory
 Overarching principle
 Underlying assumption
 (Key questions)
 (Insightful inferences from facts)
  Big Ideas in Literacy: Examples

 Audience and purpose in writing
 A story, as opposed to merely a list of events linked by
  “and then…”
 Reading between the lines
 Writing as revision
 A non-rhyming poem vs. prose
 Fiction as a window into truth
 A writer‟s voice
Some questions for identifying
      truly “big ideas”
 Does it have many layers and nuances, not obvious to the
    naïve or inexperienced person?
   Can it yield great depth and breadth of insight into the
    subject? Can it be used throughout K-12?
   Do you have to dig deep to really understand its subtle
    meanings and implications even if anyone can have a
    surface grasp of it?
   Are you likely to change your mind about its meaning and
    importance over a lifetime?
   Does it reflect the core ideas?
 You’ve got to go
below the surface...
 to uncover the
Really big ideas.
    3 Stages of Design

 1. Identify desired results

2. Determine acceptable evidence

  3. Plan learning experiences
           & instruction
                    Stage 1 –
            Identify desired results.

U Enduring Understandings: What specific insights about big ideas do
    we want students to leave with?

    What essential questions will frame the teaching and learning,
Q   pointing toward key issues and ideas, and suggest meaningful and
    provocative inquiry into content?

K What should students know and be able to do?

C What content standards are addressed explicitly
    by the unit?
                The “big idea” of
                    Stage 1:
    There is a clear focus in the unit on the big ideas

 Organize content around key concepts
 Show how the big ideas offer a purpose and rationale for the
 You will need to “unpack” Content standards in many cases to
  make the implied big ideas clear
From Big Ideas to Understandings
          about them           U

             An understanding is a
    “moral of the story” about the big ideas.

 What specific insights will students take away
  about the the meaning of „content‟ via big
 Understandings summarize the desired
  insights we want students to realize
     Understandings, defined:

                        They are...
 specific generalizations about the “big ideas.” They
  summarize the key meanings, inferences, and importance
  of the content.

 deliberately framed as a full sentence “moral of the
  story” – “Students will understand THAT…”

 Require “uncoverage” because they are not “facts” to the
  novice, but unobvious inferences drawn from facts -
  sometimes counter-intuitive & easily misunderstood.
           U     Understandings:
 Great artists often break with conventions to better
  express what they see and feel.
 Price is a function of supply and demand.
 Friendships can be deepened or undone by hard times
 History is the story told by the “winners”
 Math models simplify physical relations – and even
  sometimes distort relations – to deepen our
  understanding of them
 The storyteller rarely tells the meaning
  of the story
     Knowledge vs. Understanding

 An understanding is an unobvious and important inference,
  needing “uncoverage” in the unit; knowledge is a set of
  established “facts”.

 Understandings make sense of facts, skills, and ideas: they tell
  us what our knowledge means; they „connect the dots‟

 Any understandings are inherently fallible “theories”;
  knowledge consists of the accepted “facts” upon which a
  “theory” is based and the “facts” which a “theory” yields.
             Q   Essential Questions
                         What questions –
 are arguable - and important to argue about?

 are at the heart of the subject?

 recur - and should recur - in professional work, adult life, as well as in
  classroom inquiry?

 raise more questions – provoking and sustaining engaged inquiry?

 often raise important conceptual or philosophical issues?

 can provide organizing purpose for meaningful & connected learning?
 Essential vs. “leading” Q‟s used in
  Essential - STAGE 1         Leading - STAGE 3
 Asked to be argued         Asked as a reminder, to
 Designed to “uncover”       prompt recall
  new ideas, views, lines    Designed to “cover”
  of argument                 knowledge
 Set up inquiry, heading    Point to a single,
  to new understandings       straightforward fact - a
                              rhetorical question
    Q   Sample Essential Questions:

 How “rational” is the stock market?
 Does a good read differ from a „great book‟? Why
  are some books fads, and others classics?
 To what extent is geography destiny?
 Should an axiom be obvious?
 How different is a scientific theory from a plausible
 What is the government‟s proper role in my life?
    3 Stages of Design:
          Stage 2

1. Identify desired results

2. Determine acceptable evidence

       3. Plan learning experiences
                & instruction
 Stage 2 – Assessment Evidence

T What are key complex performance tasks
  indicative of understanding?

OE   What other evidence will be collected to build the
     case for understanding, knowledge, and skill?

R What rubrics will be used to assess complex
                The big idea
                for Stage 2
       The evidence should be credible & helpful.
Implications: the assessments should –
  Be grounded in real-world applications,
   supplemented as needed by more traditional
   school evidence
  Provide useful feedback to the learner, be
   transparent, and minimize secrecy
  Be valid, reliable - aligned with the desired
   results of Stage 1 (and fair)
Just because the student “knows
              it” …
Evidence of understanding is a greater challenge than
 evidence that the student knows a correct answer.

   Understanding is inferred, not seen

   It can only be inferred if we see evidence that
    the student knows why (it works) so what?
    (why it matters), how (to apply it) – not just
    knowing that specific inference
    Assessment of Understanding -
            the 6 facets
              You really understand when you can:

 explain, connect, systematize, predict it

 show its meaning, importance

 apply or adapt it to novel situations

 see it as one plausible perspective among others, question its

 see it as its author/speaker saw it

avoid and point out common misconceptions, biases, or simplistic
T   Scenarios for Authentic Tasks
    Build assessments anchored in authentic tasks using

      What is the   Goal in the scenario?
          What is the Role?
          Who is the Audience?
          What is your   Situation (context)?
          What is the Performance challenge?
           By what Standards will work be judged in the
            Snapshot vs. Photo Album
We need patterns that overcome inherent
measurement error
Sound assessment (particularly of State Standards)
requires multiple evidence over time - a photo album
vs. a single snapshot
For Reliability & Sufficiency:
Use a Variety of Assessments
          Varied types, over time:

 authentic tasks and projects
 academic exam questions, prompts, and
 quizzes and test items
 informal checks for understanding
 student self-assessments
   Some key understandings about
            The local assessment is direct; the state
         assessment is indirect (an audit of local work)
 It is therefore always unwise to merely mimic the state‟s
  assessment approaches

 The only way to assess for understanding is via contextualized
  performance - “applying” in the broadest sense our knowledge
  and skill, wisely and effectively

 Performance is more than the sum of the drills: using only
  conventional quizzes and tests is insufficient and as misleading
  as relying only on sideline drills to judge athletic performance
    3 Stages of Design:
          Stage 3
1. Identify desired results

 2. Determine acceptable evidence

     3. Plan learning experiences
              & instruction
Stage 3 big idea:

   Effective         Engaging
 L    Stage 3 – Plan Learning
     Experiences & Instruction
     A focus on engaging and effective learning,
                  “designed in”

 What learning experiences and instruction
  will promote the desired understanding,
  knowledge and skill of Stage 1?

 How will the design ensure that all students
  are maximally engaged and effective at
  meeting the goals?
           L   Teacher Obligations
                  “Where are we headed?”
 How will the student be „hooked‟?
 What opportunities will there be to be equipped, and to
 experience and explore key ideas?
 What will provide opportunities to rethink, rehearse, refine and
 How will students evaluate their work?
 How will the work be tailored to individual needs, interests,
 How will the work be organized for maximal engagement and
        The elements of UbD

 Focus on student outcomes

 Varied Assessments

 Strong and organized planning

 Essential questioning

 Engaging Project-based tasks

 Student centered

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