Backward Design

This course reviews course design best practices. We’ll start with where and how we want to end: Backward Design. 

What is Backward Design?

Backward Design is an instructional design framework that begins with the end in mind. When using Backward Design, begin by specifying what students will know and be able to do by the end of the course.


Watch the Introduction to Backward Design video to learn more.


Stages of Backward Design

Click on the accordion interaction below to review the stages of Backward Design.

Backward Design and Course Mapping

Compile the information gathered and developed in the three stages of backward design into a course map before creating materials or building the course.


Creating a course map takes time, but making one will ultimately save time as it will ensure your course is aligned and well designed from the onset.


Maintaining Quality

Through POE, you will design and develop one of your courses. As you begin this process, it can be helpful to know what a finished course should include.


The CELTT team has developed a checklist for online courses. Spend a few minutes now reviewing this checklist as an initial step in the backward design process.

Backward Design Resources

If you’d like to learn more about Backward Design, please click the links below to view some supplemental resources.


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Promoting Instructional Excellence Copyright © by Cathleen O'Neal; Constance Harris; and Olivia Pollard is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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