You’ve Got it Backwards: Understanding By Design


  • Examine the pros and cons of Understanding by Design (UbD)
  • Identify which classroom goals and skills are required versus which skills are desired
  • Understand the meaning of “authentic” tasks and assessments


Though there are many criticisms and labels given to UbD or Understanding by Design templates and course structures, the overwhelming research shows that when teachers plan using this method, they are ensuring the curriculum, content, and assessment are aligned with specific student outcomes and transferable skillsAnd in addition to its clear cut path to successful teaching strategies, the UbD framework ensures that students will be able to effectively reveal his or her understanding.  UbD allows for students and teachers to focus on complex tasks, authentic opportunities to learn and explain, interpret, apply, shift perspective, empathize, and self-assess.  Educators in this course will examine the pros and cons of Understanding by Design and determine whether this framework and its provided templates can work in the classroom. Each educator in this course will focus on understanding how backwards planning can improve his or her teaching.

Graduate Credits

MidAmerica Nazarene University

Course Number: CRN-9800
You can earn 3 Graduate Level Credits ($120) from MidAmerica Nazarene University for this course. Select “Open Enrollment” as the credit type when adding the course to your cart. Directions for registering with MidAmerica Nazarene can be found here.
Click here to complete your registration with MidAmerica Nazarene University.
**To earn graduate level credit, participants will need to complete an additional graduate level assignment**



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