To best internalize and deliver content, educators must consider how to transform the intended knowledge in a meaningful and engaging way that meets the needs of all learners (Boozer & Carlson, 2015). In 2005, Wiggins and McTighe developed the idea of backward design to assist teachers in devising a plan to teach content based on specific learning goals. The aim of backward design is to expand content knowledge comprehension and articulation by exploring curriculum goals, contextual relevance, and engaging strategies that enhance student outcomes (Alenezi, 2015).
Backwards design involves three stages of transforming knowledge into a presentable format: identifying desired results, determining acceptable evidence, and planning learning experiences and content (Boozer & Carlson, 2015). Subsequently, each backwards design plan should include essential elements of content standards, real-world applications, target skills, and a key assessment. Student social, emotional, and academic needs are at the forefront of this model as it requires teachers to self-reflect on their own instructional best practices that determine student comprehension.
The alignment of the components of backwards design convert standards-based curriculum into relevant and meaningful content that extends beyond the classroom setting (Boozer & Carlson, 2015). As educators strive to develop lifelong learners, they must consider student knowledge, social context, curriculum experience, intent of assessment (Alenezi, 2015). This process has the ability to enhance diversity and differentiation when planning instruction. Ultimately, the results of front loading lesson meaning and content will enhance student learning outcomes. Additionally, when students' learning needs are met, this can increase intrinsic motivation. The backwards design model supports teachers in establishing criteria for the selection of learning targets and creating essential questions that promote deeper levels of understanding aligned to Bloom's taxonomy (Alenezi).
Alenezi, H. (2015) Learning as the prize: Enhancing students' intrinsic motivation through backward design. The International Journal of Pedagogy and Curriculum, 23(1), 1-7.
Boozer, A., Carlson, D.L. (2015) Planning backward to go forward: Examining preservice teachers' use of backward design to plan and deliver instruction. Teacher Education and Practice, 28(4), 522-547.