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
Unit Template Overarching understandings Essential Questions Knowledge and skill to be acquired Understanding by Design Template • The UbD template embodies the 3 stages of “Backward Design” • The template provides an easy mechanism for exchange of ideas
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?
Components of Each Stage 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
Standards • Process Standards • Content Standards • Grade Level Expectations • “I Can” Statements
Figurative Language Humor Passion • Big Idea: A writer’s voice produces a memorable experience in the reader Honesty & Insight The big ideas provide a way to connect and recall knowledge Originality
Other Big Ideas in Literacy: • 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
Questions for identifying truly “big ideas” • Does it have many layers and nuances, not obvious to the naïve or inexperienced person? Reflect the core ideas as judged by experts? • Is it (therefore) prone to misunderstanding as well as disagreement? • Can it be used throughout K-12? • Are you likely to change your mind about its meaning and importance over a lifetime?
You’ve got to go below the surface...
to uncover the really ‘big ideas.’
1. Identify desired results 3. Plan learning experiences & instruction 3 Stages of Design, elaborated 2. Determine acceptable evidence
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: • 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 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... • 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... U • Great artists often break with conventions to better express what they see and feel. • Friendships can be deepened or undone by hard times • History is the story told by the “winners” • The storyteller rarely tells the meaning of the story
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’
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
Sample Essential Questions: Q • Who are my true friends - and how do I know for sure? • Does a good read differ from a ‘great book’? Why are some books fads, and others classics? • To what extent is geography destiny? • How different is a scientific theory from a plausible belief? • What is the government’s proper role?
1. Identify desired results 2. Determine acceptable evidence 3. Plan learning experiences & instruction 3 Stages of Design: Stage 2
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? • What rubrics will be used to assess complex performance? T OE R
The big ideafor Stage 2 • The evidence should be credible & helpful. • 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, and fair - aligned with the desired results of Stage 1
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 • 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 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 • 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 • 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 • The local assessment is direct; the MAP is indirect (an audit of local work) • The only way to assess for understanding is via contextualized performance - “applying” in the broadest sense our knowledge and skill, wisely and effectively
1. Identify desired results 3. Plan learning experiences & instruction 3 Stages of Design: Stage 3 2. Determine acceptable evidence
E F F E C T I V E E N GAGING and Stage 3 Big Idea:
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. 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