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Backward Design is a method of designing educational curriculum by setting goals before choosing instructional methods and forms of assessment. What should the students know, understand, and be able to do?
What will teachers accept as evidence that student understanding took place? What knowledge and skills will students need to achieve the desired results? Backward design challenges “traditional” methods of curriculum planning.
In backward design, the educator starts with goals, creates or plans out assessments and finally makes lesson plans. Supporters of backward design liken the process to using a “road map”.
In this case, the destination is chosen first and then the road map is used to plan the trip to the desired destination. In contrast, in traditional curriculum planning there is no formal destination identified before the journey begins. The idea in backward design is to teach toward the “end point” or learning goals, which typically ensures that content taught remains focused and organized. This, in turn, aims at promoting better understanding of the content or processes to be learned for students.