Synopses & Reviews
The Understanding by Design Guide to Creating High-Quality Units offers instructional modules on the basic concepts and elements of Understanding by Design (UbD), the "backward design" approach used by thousands of educators to create curriculum units and assessments that focus on developing students' understanding of important ideas. The eight modules are organized around the UbD Template, version 2.0, and feature components similar to what is typically provided in a UbD design workshop, including
- Discussion and explanation of key ideas in the module;
- Guiding exercises, worksheets, and design tips;
- Examples of unit designs;
- Review criteria with prompts for self-assessment; and
- A list of resources for further information.
This guide is intended for K-16 educators - either individuals or groups - who may have received some training in UbD and want to continue their work independently; those who've read Understanding by Design and want to design curriculum units but have no access to formal training; graduate and undergraduate students in university curriculum courses; and school and district administrators, curriculum directors, and others who facilitate UbD work with staff. Users can go through the modules in sequences or skip around, depending on their previous experience with UbD and their preferred curriculum design style or approach. Unit creation, planning, and adaptation are easier than ever with the accompanying downloadable resources, including the UbD template set up as a fillable PDF form, additional worksheets, examples, and FAQs about the module topics that speak to UbD novices and veterans alike.
Whether you are an experienced curriculum designer or new to Understanding by Design® (UbD), you will benefit from the latest design tools and the updated UbD unit Template 2.0. UbD authors Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe share their insights and the practical tips that have helped thousands of educators design curriculum based on the UbD framework. The Guide
features a set of modules containing guiding worksheets and exercises that take you through the three-stage unit design process to:
- Identify Transfer and Meaning-Making goals (Stage 1).
- Develop performance tasks to assess understanding (Stage 2).
- Use the A-M-T construct to create more focused and powerful lessons (Stage 3).
The new UbD Template is illustrated with fresh unit samples, and readers have access to more than 100 additional pages of online resources, including additional unit examples and helpful responses to frequently asked questions. Both novices and veterans alike will unquestionably benefit from this newest resource in the UbD series.
About the Author
Grant Wiggins is president of Authentic Education in Hopewell, NJ. He earned his EdD from Harvard University and his BA from St. John's College in Annapolis. Grant and his colleagues consult with schools, districts, and state and national departments on a variety of reform matters. He and his colleagues also organize conference and workshops, and develop print and web resources on key school reform issues.
Grant is perhaps best known for being coauthor, with Jay McTighe, of Understanding by Design, the award-winning and highly successful program and set of materials on curriculum design used all over the world, and of Schooling by Design. He is also a coauthor for Pearson on more than a dozen textbook programs in which UbD is infused and his articles have been published in several leading journals including Educational Leadership and Phi Delta Kappan.
Grant is widely known for his work in assessment reform. For 25 years, he has worked on influential reform initiatives around the world, including Ted Sizer's Coalition of Essential Schools; the International Baccalaureate Program; the Advanced Placement Program; state reform initiaves in New Jersey, New York, and Delaware; and national reforms in China, the Philippines, and Thailand. He was a lead consultant on many state assessment reform initiatives, such as the portfolio project in Vermont and peformance assessment consortia in New Jersey and North Carolina.
Grant's work is grounded in 14 years of secondary school teaching and coaching.
Jay McTighe brings a wealth of experience developed during a rich and varied career in education. He served as director of the Maryland Assessment Consortium, a state collaboration of school districts working together to develop and share formative performance assessments. Prior to this position, Jay was involved with school improvement projects at the Maryland State Department of Education where he directed the development of the Instructional Framework, a multimedia database on teaching. Jay is well known for his work with thinking skills, having coordinated statewide efforts to develop instructional strategies, curriculum models, and assessment procedures for improving the quality of student thinking. In addition to his work at the state level, Jay has experience at the district level in Prince George's County, Maryland, as a classroom teacher, resource specialist, and program coordinator.
Jay is an accomplished author, having coauthored 10 books, including the best-selling Understanding by Design series with Grant Wiggins. He has written more than 30 articles and book chapters, and has published in leading journals, including Educational Leadership (ASCD) and The Developer (National Staff Development Council).
Jay received his undergraduate degree from the College of William and Mary, earned his master's degree from the University of Maryland, and completed post-graduate studies at the Johns Hopkins University. He was selected to participate in the Educational Policy Fellowship Program through the Institute for Educational Leadership in Washington, D.C., and served as a member of the National Assessment Forum, a coalition of education and civil rights organizations advocating reforms in national, state, and local assessment policies and practices. Jay has an extensive background in professional development and is a regular speaker at national, state, and district conferences and workshops.
Table of Contents
Module A: The Big Ideas of UbD
Module B: The UbD Template
Module C: Starting Points
Module D: Developing an Initial Unit Sketch
Module E: Different Types of Learning Goals
Module F: Essential Questions and Understandings
Module G: Determining Evidence of Understanding and Developing Assessment Tasks
Module H: Learning for Understanding