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Dr. Stephanie Chasteen and others from University of Colorado Boulder introduce the concept of backward design. They discuss why backward design is useful and how to effectively implement this concept in course design.


Featured Resource: Fink’s Workbook

Fink, L. Dee “A Self-Directed Guide to Designing Courses for Significant Learning”: This workbook style guide will walk you through the different elements of backwards course design.

Featured Resource: Interactive Course Mapping Tool

Visit UCSD’s Course Mapping Guide below. This tool will help you to create an aligned course design.


Understanding by Design, Expanded 2nd Edition (This book is available for loan from the CEILS library, HH 122)

Drawing on feedback from thousands of educators around the world who have used the UbD framework since its introduction in 1998, the authors have greatly revised and expanded their original work to guide educators across the K-16 spectrum in the design of curriculum, assessment, and instruction. With an improved UbD Template at its core, the book explains the rationale of backward design and explores in greater depth the meaning of such key ideas as essential questions and transfer tasks.

Creating Significant Learning Experiences: An Integrated Approach to Designing College Courses 2nd Edition (This book is available for loan from the CEILS library, HH 122)

This edition addresses new research on how people learn, active learning, and student engagement; includes illustrative examples from online teaching; and reports on the effectiveness of Fink’s time-tested model. Fink also explores recent changes in higher education nationally and internationally and offers more proven strategies for dealing with student resistance to innovative teaching.

Tapping into the knowledge, tools, and strategies in Creating Significant Learning Experiences empowers educators to creatively design courses that will result in significant learning for their students.