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Understanding by Design

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Presentation on theme: "Understanding by Design"— Presentation transcript:

1 Understanding by Design
Highlights of the Work of Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe by Sandy Stuart-Bayer Lee’s Summit High School Library

2 Understanding by Design
“Backward Design” focus: Clarify results and evidence of them before designing lessons. Teaching for understanding is the goal of teaching and compatible with standards-based curricula. UbD is a way of thinking more carefully about design, not a program.

3 Understanding by Design
Thinking like an assessor, not only an activity designer, is key to effective design. Overcoming the “twin sins” of “aimless activity” and “superficial coverage”. The work is only “coverage” or “nice activity” unless focused on questions and big ideas, related to the Standards.

4 3 Stages of “Backward” Design
Identify desired results Determine acceptable evidence Plan learning experiences & instruction. Then and only then

5 The Understanding Insightful use of knowledge and skill, observable in performance Revealed via the “six facets” (Think Blume-See handout) Essential for maximal recall and apt transfer of “content” to new situations Reflective, recursive “spiral” Conventional linear [textbook-driven] scope and sequence is a major impediment to developing understanding.

6 3 Stages of “Backward” Design
Identify desired results Determine acceptable evidence Plan learning experiences & instruction. Then and only then

7 Stage 1 Identify desired results
Consists of four components Content standards Understandings Essential questions Knowledge and skills Key: Focus on Big Ideas!

8 Some questions for identifying truly “big ideas”
Does it have many layers and nuances, not obvious to the naïve or inexperienced person? Does it yield optimal depth and breadth of insight into the subject? Do you have to dig deep to really understand its meanings and implications even if you have a surface grasp of it?

9 Some questions for identifying truly “big ideas” cont.
Is it (therefore) prone to misunderstanding as well as disagreement? Are you likely to change your mind about its meaning and importance over a lifetime? Does it reflect the core ideas as judged by experts?

10 Avoid truisms, facts, definitions!
The Big Ideas To determine the Big Ideas for your unit or course, ask yourself… Why? So what? What is the “moral of the story”? How is _____ applied in the world beyond the classroom? What couldn’t we do if we didn’t understand _____? Avoid truisms, facts, definitions!

11 Example: Bill of Rights Redux
Content Standards Understandings (The Big Ideas) Students will understand that:

12 Essential 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 the classroom inquiry. Raise more questions-provoking and sustaining engaged inquiry. Often raise important conceptual or philosophical issues. Can provide purpose for learning.

13 Essential vs. leading Q’s
Asked to be argued Designed to “uncover” new ideas, views, lines of argument Set up inquiry, heading to new understandings. Leading Asked as a reminder, to prompt recall Designed to “cover” knowledge Point to a single, straightforward fact-a rhetorical question

14 Tips for Using Essential Qs
use E.Q.s to organize programs, courses, and units of study. “less is more” edit to make them “kid friendly” post the questions

15 Knowledge and Skill Students will know… Students will be able to…
Example: Bill of Rights

16 3 Stages of “Backward” Design
Identify desired results Determine acceptable evidence Plan learning experiences & instruction. Then and only then

17 Stage 2 - Assessment Evidence
What are key complex performance tasks indicative of understanding? What other evidence will be collected to build the case for understanding, knowledge, and skill. How will students self-assess?

18 Stage 2 is the essence of backward design & alignment
“Measure what we value; value and act on what we measure.” Link assessment types to curricular priorities

19 Assessment types Traditional Worth being quizzes& tests Familiar with
paper/pencil selected-response constructed response Performance tasks & projects open-ended complex authentic Worth being Familiar with Important to know& do Big Ideas Worth understanding

20 2 Questions for a practical test of performance tasks:
Could the performance be accomplished (or the test be passed) without in-depth understanding? Could the specific performance be poor, but the student still understand the ideas in question? The goal is to answer NO to both!

21 Scenarios for Authentic Tasks
Build assessments anchored in authentic tasks using GRASPS: G-What is the Goal in the scenario? R-What is the Role? A-Who is the Audience? S-What is your Situation (context)? P-What is the Performance challenge? S-By what Standards will work be judged in the scenario?

22 Example: Bill of Rights Redux
Lee’s Summit High School Library: Bill of Rights Redux Example performance task as a Webquest. Key Criteria and Other Evidence, including self-assessment

23 3 Stages of “Backward” Design
Identify desired results Determine acceptable evidence Plan learning experiences & instruction. Then and only then

24 Stage 3-Plan learning experience and instruction
A focus on engaging and effective learning, “designed in” What learning experiences and instruction will promote the desired understanding, knowledge and skill? How will you best promote the deepening of insight and interest? How will you prepare students for the performance(s)?

25 Organize by W.H.E.R.E. W = Where are we headed? and why? (from the student’s perspective) H = How will the student be ‘hooked’? E = What opportunities will there be to be equipped and explore key ideas. R = How will we provide opportunities to rethink, rehearse, refine and revise? E = How will students evaluate (so as to improve) their own performance?

26 For More Information Wiggins, Grant & McTighe, Jay. Understanding by Design. New York: Prentice Hall McKenzie, Jamie. Learning to Question, to Wonder, to Learn. New York: Linworth Publishing.2004.

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