Understanding by Design®

Students succeed when educators start with the end goal in mind. This backward design approach allows educators to create deliberate and focused unit design choice, laying the foundation for Grant Wiggins’ and Jay McTighe’s internationally respected and widely applied Understanding by Design® curriculum-planning framework.

Eduplanet21 has partnered with Understanding by Design co-author Jay McTighe, to create the
Understanding by Design Institute dedicated to providing participants with a dynamic and powerful social learning experience.

Through this Institute you can access UbD Learning Paths, take part in collaborative learning communities, and explore multimedia resources to help strengthen your professional practice. This Institute will include three series of Learning Paths, Introductory Unit Level available today, and Advanced Unit Level and Macro Curriculum coming in 2017. The first three Learning Paths of the Introductory Unit Level series are available now in the Marketplace with the remaining coming in December.

“This partnership with Eduplanet21 is helping to fulfill a long-standing vision that Grant Wiggins and I had since the inception of Understanding by Design. We imagined the power of an on-demand, online learning system that would provide professional development and support for educators 24/7,” said Jay McTighe about the release of the Understanding by Design Institute. 

Introductory Unit Level Learning Paths

The below three Learning Paths are the first of the Introductory Unit Level Series. The remaining Learning Paths will be available for purchase in December 2016 with special pricing available for schools/districts.

The Big Ideas of Understanding by Design

Explore the concept of backward curriculum design and teaching for understanding and transfer through a variety of videos, collaborative discussions, interactive tools, hands-on activities, and reflections.

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Transfer Goals and Understandings

Understand the rationale for identifying long-term Transfer Goals in the second Learning Path of the Introductory Unit Level Series. This Learning Path will also help you learn to identify and describe long-term Transfer Goals and Understanding Goals.

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Essential Questions, Knowledge, and Skills

Examine the role and development of Essential Questions and how they fit into the context of curriculum development. Participants will also identify and distinguish between knowledge and skills.

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Assessment Evidence

Examine what it means to “think like an assessor” and self-assess your use of a variety of types of assessments as you learn that Stage 2 of Backwards Design includes two broad types of assessment evidence.

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Performance Tasks

Learn how to design Performance Tasks as evidence of understanding by involving the twin facets of application and explanation and learn to distinguish between summative and formative assessments.

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The Learning Plan

Explore Stage 3 of backward design in this final Learning Path of the Introductory series. Stage 3 will help you become better equipped to plan learning experiences aligned with the stages of backwards design.

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Learn More About the Understanding by Design Framework

Understanding by Design is an internationally respected and widely applied curriculum-planning framework developed by Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe. UbD reflects contemporary views of cognitive psychology and neuroscience.

A series of 11 books was published regarding the Understanding by Design framework (2015, 2013, 2011, 2010, 2007, 2005, 2004, 2001, 2000, 1998, and 1997). These books are among the top five all-time best sellers for ASCD, the largest publisher of professional educational materials. The UbD series has been translated into seven languages.

UbD has been adopted by:

  • the College Board, to guide the revision of its Advanced Placement (AP) subject matter courses and for the development of its latest courses: AP Seminar and AP Research;
  • the framework for national curriculum in the Philippines and Puerto Rico;
  • the state of Massachusetts, for its Race to the Top federal grant program for creating more than one hundred exemplary units and associated classroom videos; and
  • the Next Generation Arts Standards.

Additionally, the two largest textbook publishers, Pearson and McGraw-Hill, use the UbD framework in many of their textbooks and programs; it is being taught in both undergraduate and graduate education courses across the nation-and beyond.

Today, Understanding by Design is being used by tens of thousands of teachers for unit and course planning and by hundreds of districts and schools as the basis for their curricula. Hundreds of thousands of students have been positively impacted by Understanding by Design and its unique approach to designing with the end goal in mind.

Want to learn more about the Understanding by Design Institute or Learning Paths? Contact us to learn more about how UbD can work for your school/district.
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