NDLW Closing Keynote: Planning Course Modules: Integrating Backwards Design

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At 12:00pm On 11/11/16 I attended the NDLW Closing Keynote: Planning Course Modules: Integrating Backwards Design presented by Dr. Ryan Rucker at the 2016 USCA NDLW Virtual Conference.

NDLW Closing Keynote: Planning Course Modules: Integrating Backwards Design




In the closing keynote to this successful online conference, Dr. Ryan Rucker returned with another fine presentation. In his discussion he outlined a path to planning your course modules using a reversed series of approaches in order to ensure that all materials and methods would meet the needs of your school as well as those of your team. The slides here were a little hard to follow, but the presentation itself was very good.


Devising a plan to build a quality driven course can be a daunting task. Should you as a teacher begin with learning objectives, lectures, readings, assignments, assessments, etc.? Its a difficult question, and everyone has their own preferred methods. Dr. Rucker went on to explain that one of the best resources to help aid in this process is the use of an instructional designer. Some issues arise when the instructional designer tries to re-integrate the curriculum without being an expert. This causes friction, and it is not normally expressed until the pressure cooker is ready to explode or already has.


Many instructional designers choose to implement a model called backwards design. This model was explained and iterated upon in the Keynote. For some teachers, I could see how this could help them to properly plan each course module/week in your online course. As our courses are already built and updated regularly, this material is somewhat old hat.

Marsha Mills and Tyler Dockery already covered this extensively when building out the new portfolio class. Beginning with the end goal in mind, we simply worked backwards. I thought this was a good resource for some teachers, but I think in terms of necessities, I guess we’re already ahead of the curve on this.