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  • Writer's picturekatelyn russell

Yoga Curriculum Redesign Process, Take Two

Part 2 of ?

Check out Part 1 here!

An epiphany I had yesterday that is, like, 3 years overdue - using the Understanding by Design (UbD) (1) framework and Universal Design for Learning (UDL) together to plan a course is an okay thing to do. A colleague introduced me to backward design in my first year of teaching. I bought the book and workbook and then abandoned it because I was so overwhelmed and confused. I like to think that I kept principles of backward design in mind while I was planning but I rarely use the UbD template.

So yesterday when I sat down to plan, I tried to create a course using the UDL framework only. I don’t have the book so there could be information about how to do this somewhere but I couldn't figure it out and got frustrated. So, I went back to UdB and kind of sort of got it this time, especially with the updated templates I found.

Here’s what I did, step by step:

I read this article, watched the embedded videos, and then perused YouTube for a bit looking for other helpful videos. I downloaded the UdB template from the article and was still confused (where the heck do I put the standards? What the hell is an enduring understanding?), so I went back to the videos and did some more Googling. This is what my notes look like from all that Googling and processing:

Having a goal for the course made filling out the template MUCH easier, though I still had to Google and find examples to figure out where to place the standards. I started with the entire course - not a unit - so this plan is pretty bare-bones. Once I had most of the template filled out and had a sense of what I wanted students to know and do after completing the course, I walked away from it for a bit and did some random stuff. My brain hurt at this point and needed a break.

After some lunch, I remembered I wanted to try some of the strategies outlined in BJ Fogg’s Tiny Habits. For a rundown of the brainstorming strategies I used, go buy the book or check out his website. After brainstorming, I had a few more ideas to work with and so tweaked the UbD template a bit more. Then I put the template back down, so to speak, and worked on finding cheaper car insurance.

Car insurance mission complete, I got back to work. I broke the semester down into four units: P1, Q1, P2, and Q2. The breaks are natural - they are when we have progress reports (the Ps) or report cards (the Qs). Using time instead of content feels right given the course goals. Here's the first draft of P1. It’s rough, but you can see some sort of outline starting to form. need to move some things from P1 to Q1 and adjust once I start sketching out what the weeks will look like. Which I won’t have a chance to do until at least next Monday so TBD. I’ll keep you posted!

  1. Bowen, R. S. (2017). Understanding by Design. Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching. Retrieved [todaysdate] from

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