Late design education and assessment that needs to change: a sample template to download

Writes the director prof. Vincenzo Caico, director of the Liceo Científic de Monfalcone “Do you remember when” in our time “teachers hid the marks they put on the register and we, without realizing it, tried to interpret the movement of the pen on paper? We then discovered that assessment should be timely and transparent, and then came the electronic record that more than punctually, I would say instantly, communicates assessments to both students and parents. But what is transparency? Today we continue to confuse transparency with objectivity and objectivity with classification (grades!) With all the distortions resulting from the teacher’s educational function, including the daily instillation of logics of action and comparison in subjects in continuous transformation. , delicate and unpredictable trying to become what they are. “

And continues the engineer Vincenzo Caico, an example of a totally unique and prestigious management “If we want to deprive the perception that boys and girls have of being in school, we continue like this. If we want them to fall in love with learning by feeding the different forms of school dropout, including those who finish high school with school nausea, we continue down this path. ”What does the Italian school need? And what is it? backward design education?

The process of designing a lesson, unit, or course

Late design education is the process of designing a lesson, learning unit, or course of study by first determining which ones are deliverable and then planning the assessment strategies and finally determining the methods and tasks of instruction. It allows teachers to plan lessons and courses focused on student learning.

Support learning

Teachers should have certain strategies to support learning through backward design. Some of these circumstances include different learning styles and different cultural backgrounds. By adopting a backward design, teachers have the opportunity to incorporate their students ’specific learning needs into their planning process.

A well-structured and detailed approach

The concept of backward design is not new; however, Wiggins and McTighe (2005) have developed a well-structured and detailed approach to using it in the design of lessons, learning units, and courses. Wiggins and Mc Tighe (2005, p. 18) structured the backward design into three sequential phases:

  • identify the desired results
  • determine acceptable evidence
  • plan learning and instructional experiences.

The three phases

Step 1: Identify the desired results

What do you expect students to know or be able to do at the end of the lesson, learning unit, or course of study?

The first phase of backward design is to write the learning outcomes. Bloom’s (revised) taxonomy (Anderson, Krathwohl, & Bloom, 2001) is very useful for writing learning outcomes.

Step 2 – Determining the acceptable evidence

How will students who have achieved the learning outcome demonstrate?

Before thinking about lessons and instruction, Wiggins and McTighe (2005) encourage teachers to determine how they will assess student learning. The evaluation of a multicultural group of students requires attention to the specific characteristics of the different students. Some issues to consider are:

  • provide clear assessment instructions
  • giving examples of successful works
  • determine whether written skills are part of the outcome to be assessed
  • be aware of cultural bias.

Step 3 – Plan learning experiences and education

How will students acquire the knowledge and develop the skills needed to achieve learning outcomes?

Now is the time to plan lessons, determine reading assignments, teaching method, and other classroom activities to support student learning. Given the needs of students, teachers can choose the most appropriate methods to help their classes achieve learning outcomes.

A framework for curriculum planning

A framework for curriculum planning, education and assessment is provided Understanding by design (McTighe), with 2 key ideas:

  • a focus on teaching and assessment for understanding and transfer
  • a “behind” design curriculum for these purposes.
  • Deliberate use of backlog design for curriculum planning results in:
  • more clearly defined goals
  • most appropriate assessments
  • more aligned lessons and more focused teaching.


The 7 principles described in Understanding by design (UbD) from NSW are in WHERETO, a mnemonic planning that helps you remember them better:

  • W: Where and why
  • H.: Stick and hold
  • I: Explore, experiment, enable and equip
  • R.: Reflect, rethink, revise
  • I: Evaluate work and progress
  • T.: Customize and personalize your work
  • O: Get organized for optimal efficiency.

What does WHERETO mean for NSW

W: Where and whyUnderstanding by design it’s a focused way of thinking about curriculum planning – it’s not a rigid schedule or a prescriptive prescription.

H: Stick and hold – the main purpose of Understanding by design it is students ’understanding, that is, their ability to make sense of“ big ideas ”and transfer their learning.

E: Explore, experiment, enable and equip: Comprehension is revealed when students make sense and autonomously transfer their learning through authentic performance. There are 6 aspects of comprehension that indicate comprehension: the ability to explain, interpret, apply, change perspective, empathy, and self-assessment.

A: Reflect, rethink, review – The effective curriculum is planned “behind” the desired long-term outcomes through a 3-step design process: desired outcomes, tests, and learning plan. This process helps to avoid “textbook coverage” and “activity-oriented” teaching, where priorities and goals are not evident.

E: Evaluate work and progress: Teachers are coaches of understanding, not just providers of content or activities. They focus on ensuring learning, not just teaching (and the assumption that what has been taught has been learned); they always aim for – and control – the creation and transfer of significant success by the student.

T: Adapt and customize the work: Periodic reviews of learning units and curriculum based on design standards improve curriculum quality and effectiveness.

O: Get organized for optimal effectivenessUnderstanding by design reflects a continuous improvement approach to achievement in which the results of lesson design / planning, i.e., student performance, inform teachers of any necessary adjustments to the curriculum and education.

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