Unpacking Understanding by Design By Grant Wiggins, et al


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The New Milford Curriculum Handbook is largely based on Understanding by Design. This Powerpoint is an excellent resource for curriculum writers and implementors alike.

Published in: Education, Spiritual

Unpacking Understanding by Design By Grant Wiggins, et al

  1. 1. Understanding by Design the ‘big ideas’ of UbD
  2. 2. 3 Stages of (“Backward”) Design 1. Identify desired results 2. Determine acceptable evidence 3. Plan learning experiences & instruction
  3. 3. Why “backward”? <ul><li>The stages are logical but they go against habits </li></ul><ul><ul><li>We’re used to jumping to lesson and activity ideas - before clarifying our performance goals for students </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>By thinking through the assessments upfront, we ensure greater alignment of our goals and means, and that teaching is focused on desired results </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Understanding by Design Template: the basis of Exchange <ul><ul><li>The ubd template embodies the 3 stages of “Backward Design” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The template provides an easy mechanism for exchange of ideas </li></ul></ul>Unit Template Overarching understandings Knowledge and skill to be acquired Essential Questions
  5. 5. The “big ideas” of each stage: What are the big ideas? What’s the evidence? How will we get there? Assessment Evidence Learning Activities Understandings Essential Questions s t a g e 2 s t a g e 3 Standard(s): s t a g e 1 Performance T ask(s): Other Evidence: Unpack the content standards and ‘content’, focus on big ideas Analyze multiple sources of evidence, aligned with Stage 1 Derive the implied learning from Stages 1 & 2
  6. 6. Each element is found behind a menu tab when designing units L T OE R U K Q CS Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 Understandings Questions Content Standards Knowledge & Skill Task(s) Rubric(s) Other Evidence Learning Plan
  7. 7. Not necessary to fill in the template “in order” <ul><li>There are many ‘doorways’ into successful design – you can start with... </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Content standards </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Performance goals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A key resource or activity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A required assessment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A big idea, often misunderstood </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>An important skill or process </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>An existing unit or lesson to edit </li></ul></ul>!
  8. 8. Exchange featrues provide other entry points <ul><li>You can – </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Search for, find, and attach other designers’ essential questions and understandings to your own unit </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use the web links provided to find ideas on relevant sites for each design element </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Study exemplary units and adapt them to your own needs and interests </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Misconception Alert: the work is non -linear <ul><li>It doesn’t matter where you start as long as the final design is coherent (all elements aligned) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Clarifying one element or Stage often forces changes to another element or Stage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The template “blueprint” is logical but the process is non-linear (think: home improvement!) </li></ul></ul>!
  10. 10. The big ideas provide a way to connect and recall knowledge A 2 + B 2 = C 2 The Parallel postulate S.A.S. Congruence Like rules of a game Like Bill of Rights Big Idea: A system of many powerful inferences from a small set of givens
  11. 11. “ Big Ideas” are typically revealed via – <ul><ul><li>Core concepts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Focusing themes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>On-going debates/issues </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Insightful perspectives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Illuminating paradox/problem </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Organizing theory </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Overarching principle </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Underlying assumption </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(Key questions) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(Insightful inferences from facts) </li></ul></ul>U Q
  12. 12. Big Ideas in Literacy: Examples <ul><ul><li>Rational persuasion (vs. manipulation ) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>audience and purpose in writing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A story, as opposed to merely a list of events linked by “and then…” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>reading between the lines </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>writing as revision </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>a non-rhyming poem vs. prose </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>fiction as a window into truth </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A critical yet empathetic reader </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A writer’s voice </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Some questions for identifying truly “big ideas” <ul><ul><li>Does it have many layers and nuances, not obvious to the naïve or inexperienced person? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can it yield great depth and breadth of insight into the subject? Can it be used throughout K-12? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do you have to dig deep to really understand its subtle meanings and implications even if anyone can have a surface grasp of it? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is it (therefore) prone to misunderstanding as well as disagreement? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Are you likely to change your mind about its meaning and importance over a lifetime? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Does it reflect the core ideas as judged by experts? </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. You’ve got to go below the surface...
  15. 15. to uncover the really ‘big ideas.’
  16. 16. 3 Stages of Design, elaborated 2. Determine acceptable evidence 1. Identify desired results 3. Plan learning experiences & instruction
  17. 17. Stage 1 – Identify desired results. <ul><li>Key: Focus on Big ideas </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Enduring Understandings: What specific insights about big ideas do we want students to leave with? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What essential questions will frame the teaching and learning, pointing toward key issues and ideas, and suggest meaningful and provocative inquiry into content? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What should students know and be able to do? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What content standards are addressed explicitly by the unit? </li></ul></ul>U K Q CS
  18. 18. The “big idea” of Stage 1: <ul><li>There is a clear focus in the unit </li></ul><ul><li>on the big ideas </li></ul><ul><li>Implications: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Organize content around key concepts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Show how the big ideas offer a purpose and rationale for the student </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You will need to “unpack” Content standards in many cases to make the implied big ideas clear </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. <ul><li>An understanding is a </li></ul><ul><li>“ moral of the story” about the big ideas </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What specific insights will students take away about the the meaning of ‘content’ via big ideas? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Understandings summarize the desired insights we want students to realize </li></ul></ul>From Big Ideas to Understandings about them U
  20. 20. Understanding, defined: They are... <ul><ul><li>specific generalizations about the “big ideas.” They summarize the key meanings, inferences, and importance of the ‘content’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>deliberately framed as a full sentence “moral of the story” – “Students will understand THAT …” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Require “uncoverage” because they are not “facts” to the novice, but unobvious inferences drawn from facts - counter-intuitive & easily misunderstood </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Understandings: examples... <ul><ul><li>Great artists often break with conventions to better express what they see and feel. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Price is a function of supply and demand. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Friendships can be deepened or undone by hard times </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>History is the story told by the “winners” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>F = ma (weight is not mass) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Math models simplify physical relations – and even sometimes distort relations – to deepen our understanding of them </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The storyteller rarely tells the meaning of the story </li></ul></ul>U
  22. 22. Knowledge vs. Understanding <ul><ul><li>An understanding is an unobvious and important inference , needing “uncoverage” in the unit; knowledge is a set of established “facts”. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Understandings make sense of facts, skills, and ideas: they tell us what our knowledge means ; they ‘connect the dots’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Essential Questions <ul><li>What questions – </li></ul><ul><ul><li>are arguable - and important to argue about? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>are at the heart of the subject? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>recur - and should recur - in professional work, adult life, as well as in classroom inquiry? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>raise more questions – provoking and sustaining engaged inquiry? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>often raise important conceptual or philosophical issues? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>can provide organizing purpose for meaningful & connected learning? </li></ul></ul>Q
  24. 24. Essential vs. “leading” Q’s used in teaching (Stage 3) <ul><li>Essential - STAGE 1 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Asked to be argued </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Designed to “uncover” new ideas, views, lines of argument </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Set up inquiry, heading to new understandings </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Leading - STAGE 3 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Asked as a reminder, to prompt recall </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Designed to “cover” knowledge </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Point to a single, straightforward fact - a rhetorical question </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. Sample Essential Questions: <ul><ul><li>Who are my true friends - and how do I know for sure? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How “rational” is the market? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Does a good read differ from a ‘great book’? Why are some books fads, and others classics? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To what extent is geography destiny? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Should an axiom be obvious? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How different is a scientific theory from a plausible belief? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What is the government’s proper role? </li></ul></ul>Q
  26. 26. 3 Stages of Design: Stage 2 1. Identify desired results 2. Determine acceptable evidence 3. Plan learning experiences & instruction
  27. 27. Stage 2 – Assessment Evidence <ul><li>Template fields ask: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What are key complex performance tasks indicative of understanding? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What other evidence will be collected to build the case for understanding, knowledge, and skill? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What rubrics will be used to assess complex performance? </li></ul></ul>T OE R
  28. 28. The big idea for Stage 2 <ul><li>The evidence should be credible & helpful. </li></ul><ul><li>Implications: the assessments should – </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Be grounded in real-world applications, supplemented as needed by more traditional school evidence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide useful feedback to the learner, be transparent, and minimize secrecy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be valid, reliable - aligned with the desired results of Stage 1 (and fair) </li></ul></ul>
  29. 29. Just because the student “knows it” … <ul><li>Evidence of understanding is a greater challenge than evidence that the student knows a correct or valid answer </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Understanding is inferred, not seen </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>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 </li></ul></ul>
  30. 30. Assessment of Understanding via the 6 facets <ul><li>i.e. You really understand when you can: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>explain, connect, systematize, predict it </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>show its meaning, importance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>apply or adapt it to novel situations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>see it as one plausible perspective among others, question its assumptions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>see it as its author/speaker saw it </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>avoid and point out common misconceptions, biases, or simplistic views </li></ul></ul>
  31. 31. Scenarios for Authentic Tasks <ul><li>Build assessments anchored in authentic tasks using GRASPS: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What is the G oal in the scenario? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What is the R ole? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Who is the A udience? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What is your S ituation (context)? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What is the P erformance challenge? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>By what S tandards will work be judged in the scenario? </li></ul></ul>S P S G R A T
  32. 32. Reliability: Snapshot vs. Photo Album <ul><li>We need patterns that overcome inherent measurement error </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sound assessment (particularly of State Standards) requires multiple evidence over time - a photo album vs. a single snapshot </li></ul></ul>
  33. 33. For Reliability & Sufficiency: Use a Variety of Assessments <ul><li>Varied types, over time: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>authentic tasks and projects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>academic exam questions, prompts, and problems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>quizzes and test items </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>informal checks for understanding </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>student self-assessments </li></ul></ul>
  34. 34. Some key understandings about assessment <ul><ul><li>The local assessment is direct ; the state assessment is indirect (an audit of local work) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>It is therefore always unwise to merely mimic the state’s assessment approaches </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The only way to assess for understanding is via contextualized performance - “applying” in the broadest sense our knowledge and skill, wisely and effectively </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>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 ability </li></ul></ul></ul>
  35. 35. 3 Stages of Design: Stage 3 2. Determine acceptable evidence 1. Identify desired results 3. Plan learning experiences & instruction
  36. 36. Stage 3 big idea: <ul><ul><li>E </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>F </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>F </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>E </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>C </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>T </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>I </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>V </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>E </li></ul></ul>and <ul><ul><li>E </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>N </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>G A G IN G </li></ul></ul>
  37. 37. Stage 3 – Plan Learning Experiences & Instruction <ul><li>A focus on engaging and effective learning, “designed in” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What learning experiences and instruction will promote the desired understanding, knowledge and skill of Stage 1? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How will the design ensure that all students are maximally engaged and effective at meeting the goals? </li></ul></ul>L
  38. 38. Think of your obligations via W. H. E. R. E. T. O. <ul><li>“ Where are we headed?” (the student’s Q!) </li></ul><ul><li>How will the student be ‘ hooked’ ? </li></ul><ul><li>What opportunities will there be to be equipped, and to experience and explore key ideas? </li></ul><ul><li>What will provide opportunities to rethink , rehearse, refine and revise? </li></ul><ul><li>How will students evaluate their work? </li></ul><ul><li>How will the work be tailored to individual needs, interests, styles? </li></ul><ul><li>How will the work be organized for maximal engagement and effectiveness? </li></ul>W H E E R L T O
  39. 39. Note that some fields require you to enter one idea at a time <ul><li>One idea per box allows for more powerful searching, selecting, and attaching to units when you browse </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Essential questions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Enduring understandings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tasks of complex performance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rubrics </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Also: makes expert reviewer assignment of “blue ribbons” more precise </li></ul>T R U Q
  40. 40. Help in the Exchange about all template design elements <ul><li>Get to know the icons! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A summary of each field </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Examples for each field </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A self-test of your understanding for that field </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>FAQ’s and Glossary </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A special unit in which each field is explained: click the icon for UBD TEMPLATE </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Web links to resources for that field </li></ul></ul>Q ? √ Ubd template
  41. 41. for further information... <ul><li>Contact us: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Grant Wiggins, co-author: grant@ubdexchange.org </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Jay McTighe, co-author: jmctigh@aol.com </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Steve Petti, webmaster: steve@newimagemedia.com </li></ul></ul>