View the most current suite of UbD resources, including latest books, curriculum design software, on-line learning, consultations, and free articles/podcasts.




A “Must Read” for all Educators!

Teaching for Meaningful Learning

Blogger, Jennifer Gonzalez, writes a cautionary article about the superficiality of “activity-oriented” units.

Neurologist and teacher, Dr. Judy Wills, discusses how UbD reflects insights about learning from neuroscience.

A summary of research on Transfer.

Research on Deeper Learning (a main goal of UbD)

Shaun Killion argues that Knowledge is a prerequisite to Understanding

  • How to Teach for Deep Understanding: The Missing Step

Linda Darling-Hammond makes the case for expanded use of performance assessments.

Noam Chomsky discusses high-stakes testing.

A classic article by Grant Wiggins. Written in 1989, it is perhaps even more timely today.

A modern version of the same ideas by David Perkins

A soon-to-be classic article on “feedback” by Grant Wiggins

A thoughtful article by Grant Wiggins on grading and reporting.

Tom Guskey discusses notable obstacles to reform of grading practices.

Neurologist Judy Willis explains how video games provide insights into teaching.

A seminal article on the power of formative assessments.

A classic article on “big ideas” in mathematics.

Rick Stiggins distinguishes assessments OF learning from assessment FOR  learning.

Marc Chun described the qualities of authentic performance tasks and how to teach toward them.

Conceptual understanding in mathematics – a blog by Grant Wiggins

A classic article about Transfer.

A Venture Capitalist Examines the Purpose of Education

Erik Mazur describes his Interactive Lecture method.

Teacher Ron Berger discusses how to discusses a culture of excellence through authentic, project-based learning.

An excellent summary of the 16 Habits of mind identified by Art Costa and Bena Kallick.

Discusses ways in which Understanding by Design can support programs for ELL.

Excellent article on the teaching of History in Colleges and High Schools.

Seven Principles of Effective Learning – David Perkins uses baseball as a metaphor.

A Research Study of Understanding by Design in Singapore

A teacher “shadows” a student for a day and reports on the experience. A must read for all educators!

A description of an action research study of classroom assessment practices in Donegal (PA) school district.

Free on-line courses are available in multiple disciplines and topics. The courses include  videos, audio lectures, and notes given by professors at Harvard, Princeton and MIT, and may be accessed at:


  • Recommended:  Produced by the MA DOE in conjunction with a statewide curriculum project, this video describes the UbD design process.  View MA UbD Videos  
  • A collection of UbD videos   View Videos
  • Jay discusses the Understanding by Design® framework  View video
  • Jay discusses “backward design”  View video
  • Jay and Judy Willis, MD discuss ideas from their new book  View video
  • Grant Wiggins presents an introduction to Understanding by Design®                                  – Part 1 – View video     – Part 2 – View video
  •  Short videos on the new Understanding by Design Guide to Creating High-Quality Units (ASCD 2011). In these videos, Jay and Grant discuss the changes to the UbD template and highlight some features of the new design guide.
    • Jay’s author’s page  View
    • Grant’s author’s page  View
  •  A short video introduction to  Understanding by Design®View video
  •  Understanding by Design® is introduced through commentary by teachers and administrators.   View video
  •  Jay and Grant discuss Essential Questions.   View video
  • Podcast “Using Essential Questions to Uncover Content and Spark Thinking”  Click to hear podcast
  • High School Teachers reflect on their use of Understanding by Design  View video
  • Grant Wiggins on Formative Assessment and Character Development  View video
  • Jay’s keynote address on a Curriculum and Assessment system  View video
  • Jay McTighe talks with EL editor in chief Marge Scherer about the promises and challenges of the Common Core State Standards.  View video
  • Free video program from The Arts in Every Classroom Series – “Using UbD to Design Multi-Arts Curriculum Units”  View video
  • Jay discusses the challenges of trying to learn to surf.   Humanities Essential Questions
  • Jay sets a PR – 23 pullups – at 71 years of age. View video
  • Jay discusses a transformative moment from his early teaching career.  View video
  • Just for fun – a UbD rap created by a teacher!  View Video

• Video examples of teaching Argumentation in high school mathematics.  View videos

• A video example of engaging teaching in a U.S. History course. U.S. History Video

Dr. David Perkins discusses “Understanding”

Harvard Physics professor Dr. Erik Mazur discusses his interactive lecture methods and teaching for understanding

An inspiring video about Project Based Learning from the founders of High Tech High

Ron Berger discusses “good work” through authentic learning

Dr. Rick Stiggins on classroom assessment

Dr. Dylan Wiliams offers an excellent video series on Formative Assessment

Dan Meyer’s classic Ted Talk

135 Videos on Student-Centered Discussions from the Teaching Channel

The New York City BOE offers an informative video that describes the use of Norman Webb’s Depth of Knowledge (DOK) framework for teaching and assessing the Common Core Standards.

An excellent resource for teachers from PBS media. Click on the following link (free registration required):

Introductory video on Defined STEM, a resource for project-based learning.

Project based learning replaces lectures for an AP Government course

A short series of videos on the brain from NBC LEARN

Articles / Blogs

Professional Development Resources

Resources for MAC Associates

*Please note: page is password protected