Backward design is a method of educational curriculum design that sets goals prior to selecting instructional methods and types of assessment. Backward design curriculum usually involves three stages: First, desired results are identified. This stage focuses on the larger ideas and skills that students should learn, considering both goals and curriculum expectations. The second step focuses on determining suitable evidence levels that confirm that the desired results identified in the first stage have occurred. The third and final step focuses on designing activities to achieve learning goals.
Backward design reverses traditional methods of curriculum planning. This process is often likened to a roadmap as the learning destination is chosen first, followed by the planning of the route, which in this case are the lesson plans. This focuses on promoting a better understanding of the content or processes to be learned for students. The educator is able to focus on addressing what the students need to learn and what types of data can be collected to show that the students have reached the desired learning outcomes.