Understanding By Design
Understanding By Design (known as UBD) is a much-used and well-documented approach to teaching and learning, where assessing students' UNDERSTANDING is the key. Deciding beforehand on the Big Understandings you want the students to have, as well as some Essential Questions needing to be investigated by the end of the unit, are also key underpinnings that make this a highly useful and usable Teaching and Learning strategy.
There are 3 stages in UBD:
Stage 1—Identify Desired Results and Key Questions: What should students know, understand, and be able to do? What is the ultimate transfer we seek as a result of this unit? What enduring understandings are desired? What essential questions will be explored in-depth?
Stage 2—Determine Assessment Evidence & Key Questions: How will we know if students have achieved the desired results? What will we accept as evidence of student understanding and their ability to use(transfer) their learning in new situations? How will we evaluate student performance in fair and consistent ways?
Stage 3—Plan Learning Experiences and Instruction, and Key Questions: How will we support learners as they come to understand important ideas and processes? How will we prepare them to autonomously transfer their learning? What enabling knowledge and skills will students need to perform effectively and achieve desired results? What activities, sequence, and resources are best suited to accomplish our goals?
Read and download a detailed pdf overview at ASCD ( a highly recommended site for teaching resources!), site, HERE
All of our INQUIRY units have incorporated elements from UBD, as well as several other acclaimed best-practice models.