Stage 2: Determine Acceptable Evidence

UbD Enduring Understandings
& Essential Questions
Stage 1
Dr. Robert Mayes
University of Wyoming
Science and Mathematics
Teaching Center
[email protected]
Caution: Assessing for
understanding is not as
easy as it appears
 Minds
 Thin
of Our Own
Evidence of Understanding
 Think
like an assessor
 Conventional
Stage 1
 Assessor
Stage 1
Stage 3
Stage 2
(Backward) Design
Stage 2
Stage 3
1: Desired results – enduring idea
 Stage 2: Evidence – assessment tasks
 Stage 3: Learning Plan - activity
 Stage
Stage 1: Desired Results
– 4 categories
Established Goals (G)
 National, state, local, professional standards,
program objectives, learner outcomes
Enduring Understandings (U)
 What we want students to come to understand
about the big ideas
Essential Questions (Q)
 Open-ended provocative questions designed to
guide student inquiry and focus on uncovering big
Knowledge and Skills (KS)
 Discrete objectives students are to know and be
able to do
Desired Results
Design Elements Overview – Handout
 Structure of Knowledge – Activity (KSU)
Identifying Enduring
Understandings (Activity – KSU)
 Background:
field of possible content,
topics, skills and resources
 Cannot
address all so obligated to make
Worth being familiar with
Important to know and do
Enduring Understanding
Identifying Enduring
 Worth
Being Familiar With (Largest
 Expose
to broad brush knowledge but do
not require mastery
 Assess through quizzes and tests
Identifying Enduring
Important to Know and Do (Middle Ring)
Important knowledge: facts, concepts and principles
Important skills: processes, strategies and methods
Mastery by students is prerequisite for success in
accomplishing key performances (understanding)
Enduring Understanding (Smallest Ring)
Anchor unit and establish rationale for it
Big Ideas – Why is this worth studying?
Assessed by Performance
Essential Questions
Staying focused on enduring understandings is
accomplished by:
Framing goals in terms of essential questions
Specifying the desired understandings
Specifying key performance tasks
Write-out: What is an essential question?
Students take turns providing their interpretation of
the above question from reading Chapter 5 by
writing a word or phase on the board. Students
cannot talk, but they can write responses to other
students’ input.
Essential Questions
Provocative questions and big ideas lead to
engaging students in inquiry, uncovering
ideas, and developing understanding
 Avoids activity-orientation or coverage
orientation of teaching
 Standards make mistake of framing core
content as factlike sentences rather than
revealing them to be summary insights
derived from questions and inquires
Essential Question
Cause genuine and relevant inquiry into big ideas
and core content
Provoke deep thought, lively discussion, sustained
inquiry, and new understanding; lead to new
Require students to consider alternatives, weigh
evidence, support their ideas, and justify answers
Stimulate vital, ongoing rethinking of big ideas,
assumptions, and prior lessons
Spark meaningful connections with prior learning and
personal experiences
Naturally recur, creating opportunities for transfer to
other situations and subjects
Essential Questions
- different levels of specificity
 Overarching:
more abstract or general
understandings that are transferable,
broader in scope so involve
generalizations that transcend the unit
forming bridges to other units and
 Topical: topic specific insights,
generalizations derived from the specific
content knowledge and skills of the unit
Essential Questions
- 4 types
Guiding (closed)
Unit specific questions,
converge toward settled
General questions, cut
across unit/subject but
still converge to desired
Stimulate inquiry and
deepen understanding
of important ideas within
a unit, do not converge
to settled understanding
Broad and deep
questions that remain
open in the discipline,
cut across unit/subject
Need overarching to ensure transfer
Need topical to avoid aimless drifting discussions
Need open questions to promote intellectual freedom and questioning
Essential Questions
 Convert
declarative statements to
questions - Jeopardy Approach
 Standards
 Enduring
- declarative to interrogative
 Use 6 facets of understanding to
generate questions
6 Facets of Understanding
Insight vs. Performance
Conundrum of Insight vs. Performance
 Performance Ability: revealed in Explain,
Interpret, and Apply Facets of Understanding
 Insight: revealed in Perspective, Empathy,
and Self-knowledge facets of Understanding
Insight – basis of discovery: perceive essence of
problem, but may have difficulty articulating it
Performance - articulation and accuracy of
formalized knowledge is often overvalued by
Communication of idea, clarity, and justification
are part of understanding
Essential Questions
from Skills
 Important
understandings are often
implicit or embedded in skill
 High level use of skill involves
innovation, judgment, and efficiency
 Genuine
Performance requires making
choices from repertoire of skills to solve
challenging problems
 To be skillful is to work purposefully and
strategically, requires understanding of key
principles at work
Filter for Essential Questions &
Enduring Understandings
To what extent are the outcome statements:
enduring and transferable big ideas, having value
beyond the classroom? (intellectual linchpin)
big ideas and core processes at the heart of the
discipline? (authentic learning, active constructor)
abstract, counterintuitive, often misunderstood,
require uncovering?
big ideas embedded in facts, skills, and activities?
 Activity:
EQ and EU Sieve (QU)
 Activity: Drafting Essential Questions (Q)
Dr. Robert Mayes
University of Wyoming
Science and Mathematics
Teaching Center
[email protected]

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