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3: Backwards Design I (Goals and Outcomes)

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    Learning Objectives

    Participates will be able to:

    • Use the principles of backward design to align learning outcomes with both learning activities/formative assessments and summative assessments
    • Develop/modify learning materials to engage students in deliberate practice
    • Use Bloom’s Taxonomy to evaluate assessments


    Readjusting Our View of the Classroom:

    In active learning classes, students fail less & perform better

    • Students in traditional lectures are 1.5 times more likely to fail
    • Students in active learning classes average > half a letter grade higher

    Freeman et. al: Active learning increases student performance in science, engineering, and mathematics


    The one doing is the one learning. But, how do you decide what they spend timing doing?

    The Role of Deliberate Practice in the Acquisition of Expert Performance


    Backwards Design: 

    Wiggins, G & McTighe, J. (1998). Understanding by design, Alexandria, VA: ACSD



    Goals vs. Objectives:

    Goals are:

    • Broad, vague
    • Not easily measured
    • E.g., Understand, know, appreciate

    Objectives are:

    • Specific, concrete
    • Easily measurable
    • E.g. describe, contrast, predict, defend

    Well written objectives have three parts: Verb, Subject, Context

    Blooms Taxonomy

    "Bloom's Taxonomy"by Vandy CFT is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    Modified version of Bloom's Taxonomy:

    List of Blooms Verbs


    3-D LAP:

    Verbs associated with critical thinking:

    1. Asking questions

    2. Developing & using models

    3. Planning & carrying out investigations

    4. Analyzing & interpreting data

    5. Using mathematics & computational thinking

    6. Constructing explanations

    7. Engaging in argument from evidence

    8. Obtaining, evaluating, & communicating information

    PLOS One Article on 3D LAP by Cooper et. al.Characterizing College Science Assessments: The Three-Dimensional Learning Assessment Protocol



    • Michelle Withers, Clarissa Dirks, Jenny Knight, Jay Labov, Jose Mestre, Mary Pat Wenderoth, Chris Gregg
    • National Academies Summer Institute on Undergraduate Biology Education


    Session Slides:

    This page titled 3: Backwards Design I (Goals and Outcomes) is shared under a not declared license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Mark Baillie.