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Luther Seminary

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St. Paul, MN 55108


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Teaching & Learning

Teaching & Learning
Learning about teaching, teaching about learning.

Tech Talk: Backward Design for Congregational Teaching & Learning

Listen to Audio

Listen to the recording from the March 18, 2011 Tech Talk on Backward Design for Congregational Teaching & Learning.

During the talk we reference the requirements for Climbing Merit Badge, from the Boy Scouts of America.

The following pieces were on a handout.

Backward Design Questions

These questions provide an outline of the backward design process, and are helpful in creating learning centered course designs.

  1. By the end of the course, what should the students know, understand, and be able to do?
  2. Given these requirements, how will you know if the students have attained the desired learning?
  3. How will you design the learning activities to help the students attain the desired learning?

Bibliography – Read these first.

  • Creating Significant Learning Experiences: An Integrated Approach to Designing College Courses, Fink, L. Dee, 2003. This book provides a great introduction to learning design practices. In chapters 3 and 4, Fink outlines an excellent 12 step process for designing courses that adds detail and nuance to the three basic backward design questions. While the examples are written for an undergraduate education context, the principles apply to any age group.
  • "Assessment 101: An Introduction to Assessing Student Learning for Theological Educators," Meek, James A. This article discusses processes for educators in theological contexts to assess and understand what students are learning in their courses. The article contains some helpful examples for writing theological learning objectives. [ ]
  • "From Teaching to Learning: A New Paradigm for Undergraduate Education," Barr, Robert B. and Tagg, John, Change, 1995. In this article, Barr and Tagg outline the differences of the teaching paradigm and the learning paradigm. [ ]

If you have more time, read these.

  • Authentic Assessment, Wiggins, Grant. In this book, Wiggins discusses the value of designing learning activities for students that are based in real-world problems and activities.
  • Understanding by Design, Wiggins, Grant and McTighe, Jay, 2005. This is an excellent text on backward design which uses examples from primary and secondary education.

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