Developing your open pedagogy activity using backward design

Often as faculty, our focus in our courses is the content we feel or are expected to deliver. Backward design is a planning process that flips our focus to the outcomes we’d like our students to achieve and then considers how they will demonstrate that they have achieved those outcomes. With the outcomes and assessments in mind, we can turn to designing learning experiences (in this case open pedagogy activities or assignments) and considering the content that will be needed for the learning experience.

The brief video below provides an analogy to illustrate this process. For a more thorough exploration of backward design, read the chapter, “Surfacing Backward Design” from Small Teaching Online. (This will be sent by email after the first Zoom session on July 29; you may also have access to the e-book through your campus library.)

Use Backward Design to Develop Your Open Pedagogy Activity or Assignment

In preparation for writing instructions for your students for the open pedagogy assignment, chose one activity or assignment from those you brainstormed earlier.  Use the backward design process to map out the activity or assignment by answering the following questions:

  • What are the desired results or learning outcomes?
  • How will students demonstrate their learning?
  • What activities and content will provide students with the skills and knowledge they need to successfully achieve the learning outcomes?

You an also use this backward design worksheet to guide you, if it’s helpful.

We will workshop your open pedagogy plan in our second Zoom session, and we invite you to share your open pedagogy activity or assignment with your disciplinary colleagues (according to how you self-identify):


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