Understanding by Design


Think about the big picture. That’s what I tell my students, on a daily basis.  Teaching both regular education and special education, I encounter struggling learners.  I have students that act in the now and don’t think how it will impact their future or “big picture” goal.  In my everyday life, I need to constantly think about the big picture.  Whether it was selling my house and buying a new house or planning to get my second master’s degree in Digital Learning and Leading, planning backwards is what I’ve done to accomplish my goals.  There are so many situations in life, that thinking backwards helps but it needs to be a fully followed through process.

By completing my 3 Column Table, it gave me a look at backwards design.  Prior to completing this assignment, I thought that they were the same but after reading and exploring I was able to find out the difference.  The 3 Column Table, is a broad overview of how I’d like to incorporate ePortfolios in the classroom.  By using the Understanding by Design Template, I realized that it’s specific lesson that is encompassed by the 3 Column table.

So the question is, would I use this in my classroom? Yes, I think that this is a great way to keep organized.  It would help me to focus on the big picture and plan to get to the big picture. How would I use these organizational tools in my classroom?  I think that I would use the 3 Column table, when planning a unit.  I would use the Understanding by Design Template for the lessons that go with that specific unit.

These tools help teachers to think of the big picture and create a plan, in order to take the appropriate steps for the big picture to become a reality.


Fink, L. D. (2003). A self-directed guide to designing courses for significant learning. Retrieved from: https://luonline.blackboard.com/bbcswebdav/pid-3515450-dt-content-rid-55238620_1/courses/13238.201890/Self-Directed%20Guide%20to%20Course%20Design%20-%20Fink%20Summary.pdf

Kurt, S. (2016, January 27). Backward design. Retrieved from https://educationaltechnology.net/backward-design-understanding-by-design/

Wiggins, G. P., & McTighe, J. (2005). Understanding by design, Expanded 2nd Edition. Pearson. ISBN 0131950843

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