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Using Backwards Design


Designing Professional Learning using Backwards Design


As I continue to develop my innovation plan on blended learning to create personalized professional development, I had an opportunity to explore the Backwards Design in Wiggins and McTighe's book, Understanding by Design to design a unit within my plan. I had already used Fink's 3 column table to design the course, therefore, I knew my goals for the course.

UbD has you start with your standards and the ISTE Standards for Educators was where I looked to begin. I found the perfect standard that reflected the main purpose of my plan: Educators design authentic, learner-driven activities and environments that recognize and accommodate learner variability (Standard 5). It fit perfectly! It allowed for blended learning, student choice, ownership, and voice through authentic learning opportunities, and personalized learning. Next, I worked on the understandings and essential questions I wanted my learners to pursue. From these understandings, I derived the ski