Backward Design

Backward Design is associated with Understanding by Design or UbD: e-journal of UbD Read and explore: articles and resources on UbD
Understanding by Design

Vocabulary to guide you

  1. Understanding by Design
  2. Backward Design
  3. "the end in mind"
  4. three stages
  5. program theme-the "big idea" , "the umbrella idea" that defines the program. The program theme provides the context and big idea for language and culture learning.
  6. unit subthemes: smaller units that address various aspects of the big idea of your program theme
  7. evidence of learning
  8. "can-do statements"
  9. assessment
  10. learning checks
  11. formative assessment
  12. summative assessment
  13. performance assessment
  14. 5C's National Standards
  15. three modes of communications
  16. Interpersonal mode
  17. Interpretive mode
  18. presentational mode
  19. target language
  20. differentiated instruction

Understanding by Design or Backward Design

Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe

Understanding by Design-ASCD

Reference resource:Integrating Differentiated Instruction & Understanding by Design (Connecting Content and Kids) Carol Ann Tomlinson (Author), Jay McTighe (Author)

UBD Curriculum Framer

New Jersey World Language Teachers lead the way in using UBD for their FLAP Grant assessments (CAPS). Click on the list along the top.


Fours stages to unit design

What is Understanding by Design?
This link will bring you to a section on Grant Wiggins' webpage. This tab will give you a brief overview of the theory behind "Understanding by Design".

What is the Big Idea?
This link will bring you to the Grant Wiggins' webpage. This brief article gives an explanation of what a "big idea" is and how to create one for your units of study.

Overview of UbD & Design Template
This link will bring you to Grant Wiggins' webpage. Here you will see a document that will give you an overview of what it looks like to create a unit of study using the Understanding by Design process and template.

UbD Exchange Helpful Links
This link will bring you to Jay McTighe's webpage. At the top of the page you will see a matrix filled will links to different resources for the different stages of Understanding by Design. It has examples of work from different states in the various content areas. Some of the links are not working anymore, but there are still some wonderful resources (and tutorials!) to help you create your UbD unit!

Big Ideas: A Monthly Online Journal for Educators
This link will bring you to the Grant Wiggins' webpage. Big Ideas is a monthly online journal that helps educators foster authentic learning in their classrooms and schools. This is a wonderful & practical resource for educators across the board, from administrators to teachers. This monthly journal provides practical, professional, and inspirational ideas for use in schools and classrooms. You'll find loads of tips for design and best practice, resources related to Understanding by Design, and answers to the education questions.