Backwards Design

Researcher
Macmillan Employee
Macmillan Employee
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Backwards design is a three-stage approach to designing learning experiences:

  1. Identify desired results, or what students should be able to know, understand and do.
    Examples: learning objectives, discipline-wide standards
  2. Determine acceptable evidence, or how we will know when desired results have been attained.
    Examples: assessment, performance tasks
  3. Plan learning experiences and instruction, or what content and methods will enable these
    desired results. Examples: texts, activities

Rather than content development occurring first, learning objectives should be the first stage of
developing a class or learning experience. Assessments can be constructed to cover a specific
objective, and content can be developed to support those assessments.

Learn more about the research on Backwards Design below!