October 18, 2011 Leave a comment
Mariett L. Bergantin
After deciding on the desired results and identifying the student’s preconceptions through the different types of assessment, the next challenge is to design and implement appropriate instruction modes. This is the third stage of the backward design process and involves planning learning activities and experiences. Traditionally, teachers consider this stage first when designing the course work. The UBD framework however, considers this the last stage after the desired results have been known and acceptable evidence was determined on how well the results have been achieved.
The acronym WHERE suggests guidelines that can be used in planning instruction that would match the desired results (Wiggins and McTighe 1998)
- W- Where is the unit headed and what is the purpose of day to day work?
- H- Hook the students through engaging work that makes them more eager to explore key Ideas
- E- Explore the subject in depth, equip students with required knowledge and skill to perform successfully on final tasks, and help students experience key ideas
- R- Rethink with students the big ideas; students rehearse and revise their work
- E- Evaluate results and develop action plans through self- assessment of results
Applying WHERE criteria in physics classroom, the lesson usually starts on posting the essential questions. This will guide students on what they are expected to answer at the end of the lesson. The teacher also focuses on the BIG ideas to which instruction and experiences are based. Physics teachers are then encouraged to move away from the “recipe style” experiment to semi structured lab and interactive demonstration activities. Experiments in traditional physics instruction are done through observation of the prepared set-up and students answer the question. In the new framework, experiments are carried out in a way that students framed the procedures by giving them materials and objectives and identifying the concepts/ideas underlying the experiments. Student then present the lesson at hand. This is discovery learning. Several approaches have been found to have a positive impact on physics instruction. Among these are : ICT integration, problem-based learning, project-based learning, and differentiated instruction. More on these approaches will be discussed in subsequent articles The different learning experiences can increase student’s participation and interest. Providing enrichment activities could help students to explore the subject in depth and thus encourage then to engage in research. This is usually part of their assignment or homework. Ongoing assessment on student’s performance through different modes of assessment could help the teachers differentiate instruction..
The conventional way of teaching is to put across the content of textbooks, make quarterly exams after instruction in accordance to the Learning Competencies of DepEd and come up with a yearly evaluation of the targets/learning outcomes. This is in contrast with the principles suggested by UbD framework. According to Wiggins and McTighe, textbook-based instruction focuses too much on facts accumulation and knowledge taught—sacrificing understanding and learning in the process.
While UBD emphasized the backward design it doesn’t mean that process should always starts from results going to activities. The three stages enumerated in this section can be used interchangeably provided the activities should match the identified learning goals. After all, the whole design of the curriculum is accentuated by a comprehensive and unified plan that emphasized on the Big idea.
The most important part of the backward process is the first stage where one decides on the desired learning outcome. This is the essence of the backward design; to start with the end.
The success of the UBD framework does not lie solely on the teacher’s choice of instruction and assessment but also on the administrators as well. Time and facilitation are some of the major issues encountered in UBD implementation which started two years ago. In 2013, the UBD framework will be implemented in the fourth year level secondary physics courses.