Understanding By Design- The basics
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Understanding By Design- The basics

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Understanding By Design- The basics Understanding By Design- The basics Presentation Transcript

  • Understanding by Design Using “Backward Design” to Create Meaningful Units of Study (Adapted from and based on the work of Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe)
  • What IS UbD?
    • Integrating curriculum , instruction , and assessment within a unit of study in any discipline
    • A unit design template for beginning with the end in mind
    • A way to enhance meaningful understanding and transfer of learning.
  • The “Big Ideas” of UbD Plans need to be well aligned to be effective This engages and invites students Meaningful Learning Fragmented learning; more difficult, less engaging How transfer occurs; creates connections in learning Understanding via Big Ideas Students fail to apply learning The essence of understanding and the point of schooling Transfer as goal Twin sins: Aimless activity and coverage Plans need to be well aligned to be effective Backward Design If not… Why is this important? UbD big idea View slide
  • Key points to remember…
    • In order to begin, we must start at the end:
      • Clarify results and evidence of them before designing lessons.
    • UbD is a way of thinking more carefully about design; it is NOT a program.
    • Thinking like an assessor (not only an activity designer) is key to effective design
    • The work is only “coverage” or “nice activity” unless focused on questions and big ideas, related to the Standards
    View slide
  • Key points to remember…
    • Too many students learn without thinking
      • Instruction has become an activity in repeating the teacher
    • Most test questions are recall
      • Where’s the deeper thinking?
    • The “Course” is NOT
      • The textbook: that’s a resource
      • The activities: these are steps
      • The content: this is to be mastered
    • There is a BIG difference between just knowing and really understanding…
  • The difference… The US Constitution was a solution based on compromise to real and pressing problems and disagreements in government They were a brilliant balance and limit of powers. The US Constitution (this is content!) The three branches of US government I want students to understand THAT … I want students to understand…
  • What can content mastery do?
    • It gives us the means to an end!
    • The end is…
      • Providing students with real-world, problem solving tools
      • Equipping them to individually recognize, plan for, and solve any problem that involves the content
      • Making them life-long learners
  • Give me an example…
    • Content Mastery: Fractions
    • You want students to learn fractions to recognize, frame, and solve any problem that involves fractional relationships independently .
    • SO, design the unit BACKWARDS from real problems and problem-solving situations that you want students to be able to solve on their own.
  • Give me one more example…
    • Content Mastery: Grammar
    • You want students to learn grammar to speak and write in any situation for maximum effect independently .
    • SO, design the unit BACKWARDS from communication challenges and problems that you want students to be able to solve on their own.
  • The point…
    • UbD fosters transfer of learning to create independent problem-solvers.
    • We equip them with understandings, skills, and knowledge that are essential to real-life situations.
    • But…how…?
  • The Three Stages of Backward Design What do I need to do in the classroom to prepare them for the assessment? 3. Plan Learning Experiences How will I know that they know what I want them to know? 2. Determine Acceptable Evidence What is it that I want the students to understand and know and be able to do? 1. Identify Desired Results
  • The three stages within the unit template Learning Activities: L Stage 3- Learning Plan Other Evidence: OE Performance Tasks: T Stage 2- Assessment Evidence Students will be able to… S Students will know… K Essential Questions: Q Understandings: U Students will understand that… Established Goals: G Stage 1- Desired Results
  • Three Stages
    • The following slides will take you through how to construct a unit, using the three stages of backward design
    • So, as you read, think of a unit that you currently teach or would like to teach.
    • As we go, consider how your unit would fit in to the three stages.
  • The Three Stages of Backward Design Stage 1 What do I need to do in the classroom to prepare them for the assessment? 3. Plan Learning Experiences How will I know that they know what I want them to know? 2. Determine Acceptable Evidence What is it that I want the students to understand and know and be able to do? 1. Identify Desired Results
  • Stage 1! Learning Activities: L Stage 3- Learning Plan Other Evidence: OE Performance Tasks: T Stage 2- Assessment Evidence Students will be able to… S Students will know… K Essential Questions: Q Understandings: U Students will understand that… Established Goals: G Stage 1- Desired Results
  • Stage 1- Identify Desired Results Established Goals
    • What goal am I addressing?
    • What’s the point?
    • How does this fit into the content standards?
    • What should they come away having learned?
    • What is the bigger purpose?
    • Answer: Consider BIG IDEAS
  • Stage 1- Identify Desired Results Established Goals
    • What are BIG IDEAS? (Think CONCEPTS )
    • Core idea at the “heart” of the discipline
    • Enduring: has lasting, universal value
    • Transferable to other topics/disciplines
    • Connective of facts and skills
    • Requires “un-converage” or “unpacking”
  • How can I tell if something is a Big Idea?
    • 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?
      • 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?
  • Concepts as Big Ideas What else can you think of? Friendship Perspective Balance Fairness Cycles Conflict Culture Diversity Symbols Power Patterns Migration Communication Interaction Freedom Environment Charity Abundance Exploration Justice Change
  • Use Big Ideas to form Understandings and Essential Questions
    • Essential Questions
    • Important questions that will reoccur throughout our lives
    • Helps students make sense of Big Ideas through questioning and then making decisions.
    • Engages and motivates.
    • Understandings
    • What insights will students take away about the meanings of the content via Big Ideas?
    • Understandings summarize the desired insights we want the students to realize about the Big Ideas
    • Understandings connect the dots; they tell us what our knowledge means and make sense of facts and skills.
  • Stage 1- Identify Desired Results Understandings (Often called “Enduring” Understandings)
    • Written as generalizations
    • Framed around Big Ideas
    • Beyond specific content
    • Cuts to the core of the discipline
    • The overall “A-ha!”
    • Start with “Students will understand THAT”
    • NOT : facts, definitions, trite statements, the obvious, “duh”
  • Stage 1- Identify Desired Results Understandings
    • Non-examples
    • Audience and purpose
    • Water covers three-fourths of the earth’s surface
    • A free press is guaranteed by the 1st Amendment.
    • Examples
    • An effective story engages the reader by setting up tensions about what will happen next
    • When water disappears, it turns into water vapor and can reappear as liquid if the water is cooled
    • Democracy requires a courageous, not just a free press.
    • Push us to the heart of things
    • Cause genuine and relevant inquiry into big ideas and core content
    • Provoke deep thought, lively discussion, sustained inquiry, new understanding, and more questions
    • Require students to consider alternatives, weigh evidence, support ideas, and justify answers
    • Stimulate vital, ongoing rethinking of big ideas, assumptions, prior lessons
    • Spark meaningful connections with prior learning and personal experiences
    • Naturally recur, creating opportunities for transer to other situations and subjects
    Stage 1- Identify Desired Results Essential Questions…
  • Stage 1- Identify Desired Results Essential Questions
    • Non-examples
    • How many minutes are in an hour? A day?
    • Between what years did the Italian Renaissance occur?
    • What is foreshadowing? Can you find an example?
    • Examples
    • How would life be different if we couldn’t measure time?
    • In what ways does art reflect, as well as shape, culture?
    • How do effective writers hook and hold their readers?
  • What do I do with Essential Questions?
    • Post them in your classroom
    • Use them in planning, assessing and during instruction.
    • Use them as a “touchstone” for discussion
    • If I don’t …the questions disappear…and meaning, transfer, and connections are lost…
  • From Big Ideas, to Understandings, to Essential Questions Big Ideas Literature Culture Human condition Understanding Great literature from various cultures explores enduring themes and reveals recurrent aspects of the human condition Transfer& Independent thinkers Essential Question How can stories from other places and times be about me?
  • Stage 1- Identify Desired Results Knowledge and Skills
    • In order for students to perform well on the assessments and competently answer the Essential questions…
    • What should they KNOW?
    • What should they BE ABLE TO DO?
  • Stage 1- Identify Desired Results Knowledge and Skills
    • Skills include…
    • Basic skills
    • Communication skills
    • Research/inquiry/investigation skills
    • Thinking skills (problem- solving, decision making)
    • Study skills
    • Interpersonal or group collaboration skills
    • Knowledge includes…
    • Vocabulary/terminology
    • Definitions
    • Key factual information
    • Critical details
    • Important events and people
    • Sequence/timeline
    • These questions HAVE a correct answer!
  • Stage 1- Identify Desired Results Knowledge and Skills
    • Examples…
    • Recognize and use pioneer vocabulary in context
    • Use Cavalieri’s Principle to compare volumes
    • Plan balanced diets for themselves and others
    • Examples…
    • Pioneer vocabulary terms
    • Cavalieri’s Principle
    • General health problems caused by poor nutrition
    • Let’s recap: We clarified how to frame desired results, but how can we assess the students’ understanding of them?
    • We must think like an assessor…
      • What evidence can show that students have achieved the desired results?
      • What assessment tasks and other evidence will anchor our curricular units and thus guide instruction?
      • What should we look for to determine the extent of student understanding?
    • On to Stage 2!
  • The Three Stages of Backward Design Stage 2 What do I need to do in the classroom to prepare them for the assessment? 3. Plan Learning Experiences How will I know that they know what I want them to know? 2. Determine Acceptable Evidence What is it that I want the students to understand and know and be able to do? 1. Identify Desired Results
  • Stage 2! Learning Activities: L Stage 3- Learning Plan Other Evidence: OE Performance Tasks: T Stage 2- Assessment Evidence Students will be able to… S Students will know… K Essential Questions: Q Understandings: U Students will understand that… Established Goals: G Stage 1- Desired Results
  • Stage 2- Determine Acceptable Evidence
    • This is where UbD departs from conventional unit design and planning.
    • Before we plan the activities and lessons, we must plan the assessment.
    • What then logically follows is an orderly progression of activities, specifically designed to meet their target.
  • Stage 2- Determine Acceptable Evidence
    • Assessments are too often created without carefully considering the evidence needed or only as a means for generating grades.
    • Instead, consider this: How do we know that the learner…
      • met the goal through performance?
      • “ got” the understandings?
      • deeply considered the essential questions?
  • How to tell if you’re thinking like an assessor
    • Activity designers ask:
    • What would be fun and interesting activities on this topic?
    • What projects might students wish to do on this topic?
    • What tests should I give, based on the content taught?
    • How will I give students a grade and (justify it to their parents)?
    • How well did the activities work?
    • How did the students do on the test?
    • Assessors ask:
    • What would be sufficient and revealing evidence of understanding?
    • Given the goals, what performance tasks must anchor the unit and focus the instructional work?
    • What are the different types of evidence required by Stage 1?
    • Against what criteria will we appropriately consider work and assess levels of quality?
    • Did the assessments reveal and distinguish those who really understood from those who only seemed to? Am I clear on the reasons behond learner mistakes?
  • If you were asking questions on the left side of the last slide, you’re ready to design some assessment evidence!
    • Understanding develops as a result of ongoing inquiry.
    • Think of effective assessment like a scrapbook of mementos and pictures, rather than a single snapshot.
    • Gather lots of informal evidence along the way in a variety of formats!
    • Use the continuum on the next slide as a guide.
    Stage 2- Determine Acceptable Evidence
  • Continuum of assessment Tests and quizzes Think of anchoring your unit with a performance task. But use the Other Evidence along the way. (i.e. Don’t throw out all your old quizzes!) Observations and dialogues Academic prompts Informal checks for understanding Performance tasks Other evidence
  • What should a Performance Task ask students to do?
    • Contextualize it to a real-world situation.
    • Require students to use judgment and innovation.
    • Call for exploration of the subject like a professional in the field.
    • Replicate challenging situations in which people are truly “tested” in life and work.
    • Compel students to use a repertoire of knowledge and skill to negotiate a task
    • Allow opportunities to rehearse, practice, consult resources, get feedback, and refine performance.
    • Use the Six Facets of Understanding
  • The Six Facets of Understanding Use these when generating ideas for Performance Tasks!
    • When we truly understand, we…
    • Can Explain (generalize, connect, provide examples)
    • Can Interpret (tell accessible stories, provide dimension)
    • Can Apply (use what we know in real contexts)
    • Have perspective (see points of views through critical eyes)
    • Can Empathize (walk in another’s shoes, value what others do)
    • Have Self-knowledge (metacognitive awareness, know what we don’t know, reflect on meaning of learning and experience)
    • These are excellent starting points or touchstones for performance tasks!
  • How can I create an authentic Performance Task that fosters understanding? Use GRASPS to assist in the creation!
    • G - Goal (What task do I want the students to achieve?)
    • R - Role (What’s the student’s role in the task?)
    • A - Audience (Who is the student’s target audience?)
    • S - Situation (What’s the context? The challenge?)
    • P - Performance (What will students create/develop?)
    • S - Standards (On what criteria will they be judged?)
    Remember: Make the tasks real world problems to solve!
  • Stage 2- Identify Desired Results Performance Tasks
    • Non-examples
    • Create a volcano with baking soda and vinegar
    • A final exam in history with 50 multiple choice and short answer questions.
    • Make a poster collage of 100 items for the hundredth day of school
    • Examples
    • You are a scientist charged with designing an experiment to determine which brand of detergent best removes stains
    • Plan and budget for a four-day tour in Virginia to help visitors understand the state’s impact on history and development of our nation.
    • Design a flower garden for a company with a logo that has side-by-sde circular, retangular and triangular shapes.
  • Consider: Any assessment you design should
    • Have clearly articulated criteria
    • Be valid and reliable
    • Provide sufficient measure of the desired result
    • Encourage students to self-assess their own learning
    • So, we have clarified desired results and discussed appropriate assessments.
    • It’s time to plan the learning activities!
    • As we move through Stage 3, remember that it’s not about what WE want to accomplish; it’s about what the learner will need to…
      • achieve the desired results from Stage 1 and
      • perform well on the tasks in Stage 2.
    • On to Stage 3!
  • The Three Stages of Backward Design Stage 3 What do I need to do in the classroom to prepare them for the assessment? 3. Plan Learning Experiences How will I know that they know what I want them to know? 2. Determine Acceptable Evidence What is it that I want the students to understand and know and be able to do? 1. Identify Desired Results
  • Stage 3! Learning Activities: L Stage 3- Learning Plan Other Evidence: OE Performance Tasks: T Stage 2- Assessment Evidence Students will be able to… S Students will know… K Essential Questions: Q Understandings: U Students will understand that… Established Goals: G Stage 1- Desired Results
  • Use WHERETO in instructional planning
    • W- Ensure the students know WHERE the unit is headed and WHY
    • H- HOOK students in the beginning; HOLD their attention throughout
    • E- EQUIP students with necessary experiences, tools, knowledge, and know-how to meet performance goals
    • R- Provide students with numerous opportunities to RETHINK their big ideas, REFLECT on progress, and REVISE their work
    • E- Build in opportunities for students to EVALUATE progress and self-assess
    • T- Be TAILORED to reflect individual talents, interests, styles, and needs
    • O- Be ORGANIZED to optimize deep understanding, not superficial coverage
  • Note on WHERETO
    • This is NOT a recipe, formula, or prescribed sequence
    • It is, like the Six Facets, a way of judging, assessing, and testing lessons and units.
    • How should the WHERETO elements be combined and ordered? It’s up to the designer!
  • Yes, UbD units are time consuming and challenging to create
    • They should be.
    • If we want our students to wrestle with timeless, universal questions, gain a deeper understanding of the world, and then transfer that rich experience to engage in authentic, problem-solving activities, shouldn’t we be thoughtful about the design process?
  • The answer is YES.
    • If you would like to learn more, please consult Understanding by Design , by Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe.
    • All slides in this PowerPoint have been adapted from their work.
    • Good luck in your design process and remember, when you begin, always keep the end in mind!