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Understanding by Design. the ‘big ideas’ of UbD. 1. Identify desired results. 2. Determine acceptable evidence. 3. Plan learning experiences & instruction. 3 Stages of (“Backward”) Design. Why “backward”?. The stages are logical but they go against habits

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understanding by design
Understanding by Design

the ‘big ideas’

of UbD

3 stages of backward design

1. Identify desired results

2. Determine acceptable evidence

3. Plan learning experiences

& instruction

3 Stages of (“Backward”) Design
why backward
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 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

Unit Template

Overarching understandings

Essential Questions

Knowledge and skill to be acquired

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 big ideas of each stage

Standard(s):

Unpack the content standards and ‘content’,focus on big ideas

Understandings Essential Questions

s

t

a

g

e

1

Assessment Evidence

Performance

T

ask(s):

Other Evidence:

s

Analyze multiple sources of evidence, aligned with Stage 1

t

a

g

e

2

Derive the implied learning from Stages 1 & 2

Learning

Activities

s

t

a

g

e

3

The “big ideas” of each stage:

What are the big ideas?

What’s the evidence?

How will we get there?

each element is found behind a menu tab when designing units
Each element is found behind a menu tab when designing units

Stage 1

Stage 2

Stage 3

L

Learning

Plan

U

Understandings

T

Task(s)

R

Questions

Rubric(s)

Q

Content

Standards

OE

Other

Evidence

CS

Knowledge

& Skill

K

not necessary to fill in the template in order

!

Not necessary to fill in the template “in order”
  • 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
exchange featrues provide other entry points
Exchange featrues provide other entry points
  • You can –
    • Search for, find, and attach other designers’ essential questions and understandings to your own unit
    • Use the web links provided to find ideas on relevant sites for each design element
    • Study exemplary units and adapt them to your own needs and interests
misconception alert the work is non linear

!

Misconception Alert:the work is non-linear
  • It doesn’t matter where you start as long as the final design is coherent (all elements aligned)
    • 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 improvement!)
the big ideas provide a way to connect and recall knowledge

The Parallel postulate

S.A.S. Congruence

Like rules of a game

Big Idea:

A system

of many powerful inferences from a small set

of givens

Like Bill of Rights

The big ideas provide a way to connect and recall knowledge

A2 + B2 = C2

big ideas are typically revealed via
“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)

Q

U

big ideas in literacy examples
Big Ideas in Literacy: Examples
  • Rational persuasion (vs. manipulation)
  • 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 critical yet empathetic reader
  • A writer’s voice
some questions for identifying truly big ideas
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?
  • 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?
slide14

You’ve got to go

below the surface...

slide15

to uncover the

really ‘big ideas.’

3 stages of design elaborated

1. Identify desired results

3. Plan learning experiences

& instruction

3 Stages of Design, elaborated

2. Determine acceptable evidence

stage 1 identify desired results
Stage 1 – Identify desired results.
  • Key: Focus on Big ideas
    • Enduring Understandings: What specific insights about big ideas do we want students to leave with?
    • What essential questions will frame the teaching and learning, pointing toward key issues and ideas, and suggest meaningful and provocative inquiry into content?
    • What should students know and be able to do?
    • What content standards are addressed explicitly by the unit?

U

Q

K

CS

the big idea of stage 1
The “big idea” of Stage 1:
  • There is a clear focus in the unit
  • on the big ideas
  • Implications:
    • Organize content around key concepts
    • Show how the big ideas offer a purpose and rationale for the student
    • You will need to “unpack” Content standards in many cases to make the implied big ideas clear
from big ideas to understandings about them
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 ideas?
    • Understandings summarize the desired insights we want students to realize
understanding defined they are
Understanding, 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 - counter-intuitive & easily misunderstood
understandings examples
Understandings: examples...

U

  • 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”
  • F = ma (weight is not mass)
  • 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
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.
essential questions
Essential Questions

Q

  • 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 teaching stage 3
Essential - STAGE 1

Asked to be argued

Designed to “uncover” new ideas, views, lines of argument

Set up inquiry, heading to new understandings

Leading - STAGE 3

Asked as a reminder, to prompt recall

Designed to “cover” knowledge

Point to a single, straightforward fact - a rhetorical question

Essential vs. “leading” Q’s used in teaching (Stage 3)
sample essential questions
Sample Essential Questions:

Q

  • Who are my true friends - and how do I know for sure?
  • How “rational” is the 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 belief?
  • What is the government’s proper role?
3 stages of design stage 2

1. Identify desired results

2. Determine acceptable evidence

3. Plan learning experiences

& instruction

3 Stages of Design: Stage 2
stage 2 assessment evidence
Stage 2 – Assessment Evidence
  • Template fields ask:
    • What are key complex performance tasks indicative of understanding?
    • What other evidence will be collected to build the case for understanding, knowledge, and skill?
    • What rubrics will be used to assess complex performance?

T

OE

R

the big idea for stage 2
The big ideafor 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
Just because the student “knows it” …
  • Evidence of understanding is a greater challenge than evidence that the student knows a correct or valid 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 via the 6 facets
Assessment of Understanding via the 6 facets
  • i.e. 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 assumptions
    • see it as its author/speaker saw it
    • avoid and point out common misconceptions, biases, or simplistic views
scenarios for authentic tasks
Scenarios for Authentic Tasks

T

  • Build assessments anchored in authentic tasks using GRASPS:
    • 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 scenario?

G

R

A

S

P

S

reliability snapshot vs photo album
Reliability: 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
For Reliability & Sufficiency:Use a Variety of Assessments
  • Varied types, over time:
    • authentic tasks and projects
    • academic exam questions, prompts, and problems
    • quizzes and test items
    • informal checks for understanding
    • student self-assessments
some key understandings about assessment
Some key understandings about assessment
  • 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 ability
3 stages of design stage 3

1. Identify desired results

3. Plan learning experiences

& instruction

3 Stages of Design: Stage 3

2. Determine acceptable evidence

slide36

E

F

F

E

C

T

I

V

E

E

N

GAGING

and

Stage 3 big idea:

stage 3 plan learning experiences instruction
Stage 3 – Plan Learning Experiences & Instruction
  • A focus on engagingandeffective 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

think of your obligations via w h e r e t o
Think of your obligations via W. H. E. R. E. T. O.

L

W

  • “Where are we headed?” (the student’s Q!)
  • 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 revise?
  • How will students 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?

H

E

R

E

T

O

note that some fields require you to enter one idea at a time
Note that some fields require you to enter one idea at a time
  • One idea per box allows for more powerful searching, selecting, and attaching to units when you browse
    • Essential questions
    • Enduring understandings
    • Tasks of complex performance
    • Rubrics
  • Also: makes expert reviewer assignment of “blue ribbons” more precise

Q

U

T

R

help in the exchange about all template design elements
Help in the Exchange about all template design elements
  • Get to know the icons!
    • A summary of each field
    • Examples for each field
    • A self-test of your understanding for that field
    • FAQ’s and Glossary
    • A special unit in which each field is explained: click the icon for UBD TEMPLATE
    • Web links to resources for that field

Q

?

Ubd template

for further information
for further information...
  • Contact us:
    • Grant Wiggins, co-author: grant@ubdexchange.org
    • Jay McTighe, co-author: jmctigh@aol.com
    • Steve Petti, webmaster: steve@newimagemedia.com