Whitney Backwards Assessment April 2008
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  • Whitney provides review of diversity officers training series, review of our emphasis on outcome-based approaches to our work, overview of the day, foundation and inspiration for this training, and Backward Design. Thanks for the opportunity to share some time with you. I started to bring in one of my jack games as an ice breaker but my accountant sister warned me against it. She suggested that I should simply get to the point. The point I want to get to is that diversity isn’t about the other person, it is about me. The issue of diversity starts with me not with you.
  • Whitney: Review: bullet point #1 Whitney ( or Jason?) overview of objectives of the day: bullet points #2, #3
  • Whitney
  • Whitney Why “backward”? Because for most of us, this design model asks us to re-examine our curriculum development practices and to look at them in different light.
  • Jason
  • Jason
  • Let’s take a closer look at Stage 1 which involves identifying the desired result of what students should know, understand and be able to do.
  • Whitney Specifically, we will focus on identifying the enduring understandings, essential questions, the knowledge and skills we want students to achieve and the content standards that will be explicitly addressed by the unit.
  • Whitney Because there is typically more content than can be reasonably addressed within the available instructional time, we are obligated to make choices and to establish curricular priorities. Lesson 3 of your ASCD Professional Development course asks you to use the framework of concentric circles as a framework for decision making in this regard. We’re going to get a head start on the process. (Wkst 4.1 Establishing Curricular Priorities) Think of your unit and with the outermost circle begin identify the knowledge that students should be familiar with. During the proposed unit, what do you want students to read, hear, view, research or otherwise encounter? Using the middle ring, sharpen your choices by specifying important knowledge (facts, concepts and principles) and skills (processes, strategies and methods). These are the “essentials” the prerequisite knowledge and skills that students need in order to successfully accomplish key performances. The smallest, innermost ring, requires us to really focus on our intellectual priorities. Here we select the enduring understandings that will anchor or unit and establish a rationale for it. Here we will consider the larger purpose for learning the targeted content. Ask yourself: What is it that I really want students to “get a hold of” and retain long after the minor details may have been forgotten. What is it that I want them to remember 5 years from now? What is it that I want them to be able to apply outside of school? You may wish to consider the prompts provided on Handout 1 to help you focus on your unit. When you’ve completed your initial brainstorming, use the filtering criteria (Wkst 4.2) to further target your possible understandings. (Support Material: Handout 1)
  • Whitney, Transition to Jason A key design strategy for engaging student inquiry, uncovering subtle ideas, and developing understanding is to build curriculum around the kinds of questions that gave rise to the content knowledge in the first place. Such questions help in designing a curriculum that is more coherent, making the student’s role more inquisitive and in focusing the teacher’s priorities. Wiggins and McTighe suggest that students who have complete and mature understandings are able to explain, interpret and apply concepts while showing insight from perspective, empathy and self-knowledge. While generating possible essential questions, it is helpful to take these facets into consideration.
  • Jason
  • If keep previous slide (#20): Whitney If condense previous slide: Jason Let’s move right along into Stage 2: Determining Acceptable Evidence of Understanding.
  • Whitney ? Use the prompts provided in Figure 9.7 to brainstorm ways that students might reveal their understanding of a topic within your unit. Then, brainstorm types of evidence that might be most useful, insightful, and fair in providing a sufficient range of evidence (Worksheet 7.1).
  • Whitney, Transition to Jason ? What is evidence of in-depth understanding, as opposed to superficial or naïve understanding? Where should we look, and what should we look for to determine the extent of student understanding? What kinds of assessment evidence will anchor our curricular units and guide our instruction?
  • Whitney, Transition to Jason When planning to collect evidence of understanding, teachers should consider a range of assessment methods.
  • Jason
  • Jason
  • Jason or Whitney
  • Jason or Whitney
  • Whitney or Jason Ready for Stage 3: Planning Learning Experiences and Instruction
  • Whitney As we begin planning learning experiences and instruction, we’ll want to ensure that work is both engaging and effective in leading towards maximum achievement. Use Wkst 12.1 and 12.2 to identify conditions and criteria for engaging and effective design. Then, in a small group discussion, use Wkst 12.3 to show the relationship between engaging and effective work. (Support Materials: Handouts 4, 5 and 6)
  • Whitney Considering what needs to be uncovered is vital when designing curriculum because big ideas are often subtle, abstract and unobvious. Simply covering the material leaves students to guess what is most important. There are several exercises to assist designers in thinking through the coverage vs. uncoverage dilemma. (Participants may wish to refer to the UBD Handbook, pages 189-197) Students often leave school with misunderstandings about what they (we thought) they learned. After stating an understanding target as a set of possible generalizations, educators can better appreciate the importance of confronting student misconceptions in assessment and lesson design. The challenge is to better anticipate misunderstandings and attack them more aggressively in our design work, not just as they arise and surprise our teaching. Use Wkst 14.1 to consider the types of ideas that typically confuse students and frequently cause misunderstandings. Then, consider the likely misunderstandings for your own unit of study. (Wkst 14.2 and 14.3)
  • Whitney With clearly specified understanding targets and assessments, we can now begin to identify instructional activities and sequence to make performance success most likely. Wiggins and McTighe use the acronym WHERETO to guide teachers on where to focus their efforts. All of these elements may not be needed in each unit, but as design guidelines and self-assessment criteria, they alert us to considering students as would=be performers. Use Handout 7 to consider these elements for you unit, then discuss the considerations with a partner or small group.
  • Keep? Whitney The primary purpose of peer review is to provide feedback to designers to help them improve their unit designs. Review sessions also provide the opportunity to share and discuss curriculum and assessment with colleagues providing a powerful approach to professional development because the conversations focus on the heart of teaching and learning. Use Wkst 21.1 and 21.2 to review your overall unit design with a peer or small group.

Whitney Backwards Assessment April 2008 Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Backward Design—An Overview © 1998 Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe Modified by Whitney G. Harris and Jason A. Cardinal, 2007
  • 2. Objectives
    • Review importance of Outcome-Based Approaches to our work
    • Understand the Backward Design concept
      • Focus on outcomes
      • Back to front
      • Encouraging REAL understanding
    • Understand it’s value
    • Learn how to apply
    © 1998 Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe Modified by Whitney G. Harris and Jason A. Cardinal, 2007
  • 3. Overview of Backward Design Identify Desired Results Determine Acceptable Evidence Plan Diversity/ Multicultural Experiences © 1998 Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe Modified by Whitney G. Harris and Jason A. Cardinal, 2007
  • 4. Why “backward”?
    • The stages are logical but they go against habits
      • We’re used to jumping to lesson and activity ideas - before clarifying our performance goals for participants
      • By thinking through the assessments upfront, we ensure greater alignment of our goals and means, and that teaching is focused on desired results
    © 1998 Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe Modified by Whitney G. Harris and Jason A. Cardinal, 2007
  • 5. Value of going “backward”
    • Outcome based – already doing
    • Guide for being effective change agents
      • Vision + sense of purpose to your work,
      • ‘ Results Oriented’ – Damon A. Williams
      • Create real understanding ,
        • Understand understanding
      • Honor the history, theory, scholarship behind our work, Learn the Language, share
    © 1998 Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe Modified by Whitney G. Harris and Jason A. Cardinal, 2007
  • 6. Value of going “backward”
    • Bridge - curriculum design model
    • For Instructors and Teachers
    • Class experience…
      • Directly applicable
      • Advantages: Real world, outcomes already
    • ‘ Ability to Cultivate a Common Vision’ – Williams
      • Power, must resonate authentic and collaborate
    • ‘ To begin with the end in mind, start with clear vision of destination’ – Steven Covey
    • Direction to your passion
    © 1998 Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe Modified by Whitney G. Harris and Jason A. Cardinal, 2007
  • 7. 3 Stages of Design, elaborated 2. Determine acceptable evidence © 1998 Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe Modified by Whitney G. Harris and Jason A. Cardinal, 2007 1. Identify desired results 3. Plan learning experiences
  • 8. Stage 1 – Identify desired results.
    • Key: Focus on Big ideas
      • Enduring Understandings: What specific insights
      • about big ideas do we want participants to leave with?
      • What essential questions will frame the
      • experience, pointing toward key issues and
      • ideas, and suggest meaningful and provocative inquiry into content?
      • What should participants know and be able to do?
    U K Q © 1998 Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe Modified by Whitney G. Harris and Jason A. Cardinal, 2007
  • 9. Enduring Understanding, Establishing Priorities Knowledge that is worth being familiar with… Knowledge and skills that are important to know and do… Understandings that are enduring… Enduring Understanding Important to know and do Worth being familiar with © 1998 Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe Modified by Whitney G. Harris and Jason A. Cardinal, 2007 Worth being familiar with Important to know and do “ Enduring” understanding
  • 10. Understanding Understanding: The Six Facets of Understanding
    • Explain
    • Interpret
    • Apply
    • Perspective
    • Empathize
    • Self-Knowledge
    © 1998 Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe Modified by Whitney G. Harris and Jason A. Cardinal, 2007
    • How this connects…
    • Self-Knowledge
  • 11. Self-Knowledge: The Key to Understanding
    • ‘ All understanding is ultimately self-understanding… This requires… the fundamental suspension of our prejudices.’*
    • What are the limits of my understanding? What are my blind spots? What do I misunderstand, due to prejudice, habit, projections, etc.
    • ‘ Be introspective’ – Charles A. Gallagher - 10 Things You Can Do To Improve Race Relations
    * Gadamer, Truth and Method, 1994, p. 266 © 1998 Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe Modified by Whitney G. Harris and Jason A. Cardinal, 2007
  • 12. Desired results -
    • Parallel in Bloom’s Taxonomy: Evaluation
    • Value decisions, judgements
    • How this connects…
      • Highest levels of learning and understanding is our work’s point of contact
      • Ultimate goal: to make an impact, to create real understanding, to open minds
      • Guides to how we shape our outcomes
    © 1998 Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe Modified by Whitney G. Harris and Jason A. Cardinal, 2007
  • 13. 3 Stages of Design: Stage 2 © 1998 Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe Modified by Whitney G. Harris and Jason A. Cardinal, 2007 1. Identify desired results 2. Determine acceptable evidence 3. Plan learning experiences
  • 14. Assessment of Understanding
      • Using the Facets of Understanding
      • Considering a Range of Evidence
      • Determining Possible Performances
    © 1998 Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe Modified by Whitney G. Harris and Jason A. Cardinal, 2007
  • 15. Just because the participant “knows it” …
    • Evidence of understanding is a greater challenge than evidence of knowledge
      • Understanding is inferred, not seen
      • It can only be inferred if we see evidence
    • Revealed in performance
    © 1998 Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe Modified by Whitney G. Harris and Jason A. Cardinal, 2007
  • 16. Reliability: Snapshot vs. Photo Album
    • We need patterns that overcome inherent measurement error
      • Sound assessment requires multiple evidence over time - a photo album vs. a single snapshot
    © 1998 Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe Modified by Whitney G. Harris and Jason A. Cardinal, 2007
  • 17. Continuum of Assessments © 1998 Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe Modified by Whitney G. Harris and Jason A. Cardinal, 2007 Academic Prompts Observations & Dialogues Tests& Quizzes Informal Checks Performance Tasks Evidence
  • 18. Performance Tasks
    • How this connects… Real-world
    • Are ‘authentic’
    • Unstructured
    • Is realistic
    • Requires judgment and innovation
    • Explore and ‘do’ the work
    • ‘ Messy’ and ‘Noisy’ context
    © 1998 Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe Modified by Whitney G. Harris and Jason A. Cardinal, 2007
  • 19. Activity #1 - Thinking like an assessor
    • Compare how an assessor thinks to the thinking of an activity planner
    • In your groups, read the questions on the cards and place each card into one of two categories:
    • 1. Thinking like an ASSESSOR
    • 2. Thinking like an ACTIVITY PLANNER
    © 1998 Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe Modified by Whitney G. Harris and Jason A. Cardinal, 2007
  • 20. Assessor vs. Activity Designer © 1998 Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe Modified by Whitney G. Harris and Jason A. Cardinal, 2007 Thinking like an Assessor Thinking like an Activity Designer What would be sufficient & revealing evidence of understanding? What would be interesting & engaging activities on this topic? What performance tasks must anchor the event? What resources and materials are available on this topic? How will I be able to distinguish between those who really understand and those who don’t (though they may seem to)? What will participants do? Against what criteria will I distinguish work? How will the event be evaluated and justified to stakeholders? What misunderstandings are likely? How will I check for those? Did the event work? Why or why not?
  • 21. 3 Stages of Design: Stage 3 2. Determine acceptable evidence © 1998 Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe Modified by Whitney G. Harris and Jason A. Cardinal, 2007 1. Identify desired results 3. Plan learning experiences & instruction
  • 22. Stage 3 big idea: © 1998 Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe Modified by Whitney G. Harris and Jason A. Cardinal, 2007
      • E
      • F
      • F
      • E
      • C
      • T
      • I
      • V
      • E
    and
      • E
      • N
      • G A G IN G
  • 23. Taking a Closer Look at...
    • Coverage
    • vs.
    • Uncoverage
    • Misunderstanding and
    • Misconceptions
    © 1998 Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe Modified by Whitney G. Harris and Jason A. Cardinal, 2007
  • 24. Think of your obligations via W. H. E. R. E. T. O.
    • “ Where are we headed?” (the participant’s Q!)
    • How will the participant 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 revise?
    • How will participants evaluate their work?
    • How will the work be tailored to individual needs, interests, styles?
    • How will the work be organized for maximal engagement and effectiveness?
    W H E E R L T O © 1998 Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe Modified by Whitney G. Harris and Jason A. Cardinal, 2007
  • 25. Case Study
    • Use the Backward Design model to plan an activity that celebrates the sesquicentennial depicting a Minnesota immigrant population
    © 1998 Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe Modified by Whitney G. Harris and Jason A. Cardinal, 2007
  • 26. Peer Review
    • Consider….
    • Strengths
    • Areas needing improvement
    • Feedback
    • Questions?
    • Thank You
    © 1998 Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe Modified by Whitney G. Harris and Jason A. Cardinal, 2007