This book is a warm and thoughtful friend to have alongside as you design learning experiences. Brooke does an excellent and accessible job of introducing the 'understanding by design' principles, using his own context of biblical studies as the focus. Chock full of specific examples of rubrics, assignments, and key questions, this book also offers a friendly counterpoint to academes all-too-frequent dismissal of pedagogical reflection. The book includes not only typical classrooms, but also the challenges to be found when moving the process of teaching and learning into online or hybrid environments. The text offers numerous pragmatic ideas for engaging your students, whether you teach in an undergraduate or graduate, public university or seminary, setting.
-Mary E. Hess,
Don't worry if you are new to the notion of course design, backward design, or understanding by design. If you care about teaching and want to do more than just tweak your syllabi, this exciting volume is for you. Lester, Webster, and Jones offer practical advice on designing courses that reflect your true learning objectives. Intended specifically for biblical studies professors, Understanding Bible by Design far surpasses any one-size-fits-all workshop or professional development seminar on pedagogy. It provides clear, helpful, and user-friendly guidance on designing and implementing innovative teaching in diverse learning environments.
Howard University School of Divinity
This book is a must-buy for the Wabash Center's library. Its not a tips and tricks book. Instead, its an entire approach to course design and assessment in quick accessible prose. The opening chapter provides a concise overview of Wiggins and McTighe's Understanding by Design. Subsequent chapters illustrate this method at work through hands-on examples from the design of a real-life biblical studies course. This process is then repeated for an online course, a college level liberal arts course, and for courses outside of biblical studies. The book walks us through the essential questions to ask when designing a course. What is most important for students to learn? What student performance would provide evidence of this learning? And what activities or assignments would help students develop these skills? Its easy! And a pleasure to read.
Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion
Lester and his colleagues explain in clear, engaging terms why professors of biblical studies should invest the time to explore backward course design. Using detailed examples grounded in their own teaching practice, they invite careful attention to focusing on what really matters to enhance student learning. With their fingers on the pulse of contemporary teaching challenges such as multiple time formats and new environments for course delivery, they serve as creative collaborators and guides for both novice and veteran teachers in the field.
Iliff School of Theology