Backward Design for Information Literacy Education

Duration: 6 weeks
Credits: 2.25 CEUs
Price: US $250  

Dates: TBA 

In Brief: Backward instructional design is iterative process that begins with considering learning goals, then determining acceptable evidence of learning, and addressing those outcomes through sequenced activities. Learn about and apply four essential pieces of backward design to your teaching practice: “big ideas” (i.e., conceptual understandings), learning outcomes, assessment, and sequencing. 

(This course counts as an elective for the Certificate in Library Instruction from Library Juice Academy.)

Backward instructional design is iterative process that begins with considering learning goals, then determining acceptable evidence of learning, and addressing those outcomes through sequenced activities. Backward design can be used to develop scaffolded and focused instruction that is grounded in concrete actions, while also connecting practical tasks to larger concepts and questions that reflect the larger significance of learning content. This approach has become particularly relevance as librarians look to integrated approaches to information literacy instruction that reach beyond the one-shot and the mechanics of searching and as we seek to help students develop conceptual understandings and to transfer their learning across contexts.

In this 6-week course, participants will learn about and apply four essential pieces of backward design to their teaching practice: “big ideas” (i.e., conceptual understandings), learning outcomes, assessment, and sequencing. Throughout the course, students will dissect how these elements of backward design function in various activities and assignments, while simultaneously developing and refining their own activity, assignment, or lesson plan. Through weekly discussions and assignments, participants will reflect on course readings and instruction examples, share teaching experiences and ideas, and exchange constructive feedback on one another’s developing instruction plans.

Weekly Themes

  • Week 1: The key puzzle pieces: Big ideas, learning outcomes, assessment, and sequencing
  • Week 2: Developing learning outcomes for higher order thinking
  • Week 3: Developing authentic assessment
  • Week 4: Sequencing assignments and activities
  • Week 5: Aligning elements of backward design
  • Week 6: Expanding the possibilities for backward design in teaching libraries

Course Learning Outcomes

  • Articulate the value of backward design for information literacy instruction.
  • Recognize backward design as an iterative and creative process that involves ongoing reflection and revision.
  • Recognize the connections between big ideas, learning outcomes, assessment, and sequencing.
  • Develop a sequenced learning activity or assignment that applies key elements of backward design (big ideas, learning outcomes, assessment, and scaffolding).
  • Recognize the connections between big ideas, learning outcomes, assessment, and sequencing, and apply them to refining the final learning activity or assignment.
  • Identify potential applications of backward design to library instruction services, both within and beyond direct instruction.

About Inquiring Teachers Courses

Baer_2018In a small online community participants learn about pedagogical theories and practices relevant to information literacy education, while also developing an instruction plan for their unique teaching contexts. Throughout these courses participants provide one another with feedback and receive individualized feedback from the instructor. 

This professional development is unique in its emphasis on reflection and community and in its integration of learning research, accessible theory, and everyday teaching practice. To foster this environment, classes are small (no more than 15 people) and all participants are given ongoing personalized and detailed feedback. All courses are facilitated by educator and instruction librarian Andrea Baer, Ph.D.

Registration Information

Participants may register up through the first week of a course. Please email abaer@inquiringteachers.com with the registrant name(s), email address(es), and the course in which they wish to enroll.

Within one business day you will receive a registration confirmation and payment information. Payments can be made with personal or institutional credit cards or PayPal. If your institution prefers to receive a billing statement or to make purchase order, please indicate this in your email message.

Privacy Information

Courses are taught through the digital platform MoodleCloud. When registrants first log in to MoodleCloud, they are required to accept the site’s Privacy Policy and Cookies Policy in order to use the site. When a registrant is enrolled in a course, their name and email are added to the course’s MoodleCloud site. Inquiring Teachers does not share any additional user information with MoodleCloud.