Backward design

Backward design is the process of identifying the goals and outcomes of a learning experience before choosing the instructional methods or assessment.

Backward design was first created by Wiggins and McTighe in 1998 as a way to create courses. It was created because of the tendency of instructors to “forward design” their courses – meaning they consider how to teach the content (learning activities), develop assessments around their learning activities, then attempt to draw connections to the learning goals of the course. Backward design asks the instructors to consider the learning goals first and then create an assessment – and then base the instruction and learning activities on the goals and assessment. Backward design consists of three steps:

  1. Identify desired results – determine the learning goals of the course, lesson, or unit
  2. Determine acceptable evidence – consider the assessment and performance tasks the learners will need to demonstrate
  3. Plan learning experiences and instruction – considering the learning goals and assessments, decide how the information will be taught
October 10, 2022
August 22, 2023
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