Creating a Learning Environment with Understanding by Design Model

After examining my learning philosophy I realized my approach was based generally within the Constructivist theory.  After developing my preliminary plan of my alignment of outcomes, activities and assessments using Fink’s taxonomy, I will be using as a reference book for course design written by Grant Wiggins and Jay McTigne “Understanding by Design” (UbD), to create the design my course targeting my BHAG.

During the development of my alignment of outcomes, activities and assessments I used the concept of backward design that Fink’s discussed using general principles and goals to reach my BHAG in the designing of my course.  In examining the UbD the process of backward design it took the approach of developing content in smaller and smaller components of the course to reach the BHAG. With this taken into consideration I was able to develop a unit of study that would have content that contained specific strategies to reach my goal of an early literacy learning environment.

The UbD has 3 stages with stage 1 containing desired results, stage 2 the use of assessment evidence, and stage 3 planned learning experiences.  Since my area of early childhood education does not use TEKS or any other standardized guidelines, “The Essentials of Early Literacy Instruction” from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), is used as a guide. The WHERETO elements of UbD, help me to analyze each stage of development for my course to ensure the cohesiveness in my design. Below is the plan that I created and will implement.


Fink, L. D. (2013). Creating significant learning experiences: An integrated approach to designing college courses. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Roskos, K. A., Christie, J. F., & Richgels, D. J. (2003). The essentials of early literacy instruction. YC Young Children, 58(2). 52-60.

Wiggins, G. P., & McTighe, J. (2005). Understanding by design, expanded 2nd edition. London, England: Pearson.

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