Understanding by Design (UbD) is a new framework in teaching or instruction that is entirely different from the current practice where teachers first select a topic, set objectives, procedures and activities, do assessment, and then give grades. It was introduce because its proponents believe that understanding takes place when the students are able to demonstrate, showcase, or apply their learning than by just having the mastery of the content. Thus, it is now a battle between Content Mastery and Performance Mastery.
Understanding by Design (UbD) is known as “Backward Design” because unlike the current practice, the proponents of UbD suggest that teachers should first identify the desired results by giving first the “Big Idea” or understanding the essential question provided. Then, it is followed by determining the acceptable evidence through assessment. This can be done in a form of performance task or through other evidence like quizzes, tests, observations and the like where students can demonstrate achievement of the desired results given earlier.
The last step in UbD is the planning of the learning experiences and results. In the last stage, the teacher should be able to think for learning activities that will enable students to achieve the desired results. In summary, Understanding by Design (UbD) is demonstrated by first identifying the result or outcome, followed by assessment, and ended with a learning plan and result. Through the help of our resource speaker, Mr. Genaro R.
Gojo Cruz, I was now enlightened by the concept of Understanding by Design (UbD) and its benefits that it would provide to the students when implemented. It would instill learning and understanding because students’ misconceptions are immediately corrected since assessment is conducted first before the implementation of the learning activities or experiences. Moreover, what is developed within students is performance mastery as they could apply the understanding or learning to their daily lives.
However, I can say that on the part of the teachers, following and implementing the said new framework of teaching and instruction is a tedious process. I realized how challenging this is for teachers because teachers must first assess whether the prior concepts and knowledge of the students are correct before they could actually think for the learning experiences or activities for the achievement of the desired results set at the beginning. Aside from the ediousness of the process of implementation, it is also time-consuming because verification of students’ prior understanding must occur first. Most probably, the assessment stage would take a lot of time because teachers must thoroughly assess the result of the assessment as to whether students have correct prior knowledge of the lesson because if the prior knowledge is different from what is expected to be correct, then teachers have to correct them and transform them into new and correct knowledge or concept where planning of the learning experiences would take into consideration.
It seemed to be a tedious and time-consuming process; nevertheless, it would indeed instill understanding among students. As a teacher, it is a must to understand the new trends that are introduced in teaching and instruction and one of which is the new framework in teaching that is Understanding by Design (UbD). I must say that I am fortunate enough to be educated about this because it would benefit me and my students as well.
I think that being aware and be able to understand clearly the concept and the way of implementing UbD would help me contribute in producing quality education among students because I am well- trained and taught how to execute the new framework of teaching. According to Howard Gardner, “An individual understands a concept, skill, theory, or domain of knowledge to the extent that he or she can apply it appropriately in a new situation. ” With this, I am always reminded by the whole concept of UbD.