Backward Design

Backward design is a method of developing an educational curriculum in which goals are established before selecting instructional techniques and forms of assessment. Backward curriculum design typically involves three stages: 

  1. Determining the desired outcomes (big ideas and skills).
  2. Determining acceptable levels of evidence that support the desired outcomes (culminating assessment tasks).
  3. Create activities that will result in the desired outcomes (learning events).

Backward design, also known as backward planning or backward mapping, is a process used by educators to create learning experiences and instructional techniques that meet specific learning objectives. The backward design begins with a unit’s or course’s objectives of what students are expected to learn and be able to do and then works “backward” to create lessons that achieve those desired goals. The educational goals of a course or unit in most public schools will be a given state’s learning standards, that is, concise, written descriptions of what students are expected to be aware of and be able to execute at a specific stage of their education process. 

Starting with the end goal, rather than the first lesson delivered chronologically during a unit or course, helps teachers design a sequence of lessons, problems, projects, School Management System, presentations, assignments, and assessments which result in students achieving the required academic achievement for a required course or program.