Educator Resources

Understanding by Design

  • Understanding by Design” is a book written by Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe that offers a framework for designing courses and content units called “Backward Design.” Instructors typically approach course design in a “forward design” manner, meaning they consider the learning activities (how to teach the content), develop assessments around their learning activities, then attempt to draw connections to the learning goals of the course. In contrast, the backward design approach has instructors consider the learning goals of the course first. These learning goals embody the knowledge and skills instructors want their students to have learned when they leave the course. Once the learning goals have been established, the second stage involves consideration of assessment. The backward design framework suggests that instructors should consider these overarching learning goals and how students will be assessed prior to consideration of how to teach the content. For this reason, backward design is considered a much more intentional approach to course design than traditional methods of design.


Re-conceptualizing student success in higher education: reflections from graduate student affairs educators using anti-deficit achievement framework

  • Fostering student success in higher education requires a paradigm shift. Instead of “fixing” students, efforts must center on preparing college educators. In this study, journal entries from a graduate-level course were used to explore how exposing Graduate Student Affairs Educators to anti-deficit perspectives on student success enhanced their thinking and practice. In collaboration with the course instructor, four participants engaged in critical participatory action research and identified how they perpetuated individualized notions of success, became conscious of dominant narratives on collegiate success, and sought to integrate anti-deficit perspectives into their practice. Implications focus on integrating anti-deficit perspectives into graduate preparation programs.

How Educators Can Support Accessibility

  • This article describes the experiences of a differently-abled person's online education and highlights how many people allow our own ableist biases to shape the norms and practices of our educational spaces. As the author puts it, the burden of access is always on those who are differently-abled. But if we take some time to step back and think about how we can proactively support accessibility for all students, we can create more inclusive and equitable spaces.


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