Module 3 – Goals



Goal-based planning is essential to the UDL approach. Open-ended goals work better in a diverse classroom because they provide more entry points to students working at different levels. Goals framed as essential understandings or big ideas open the door for the personalization of learning, choice and inclusion. Understanding by Design (UbD) is one approach to goal-based planning that is compatible with UDL.

Goals form the basis for instruction and assessments. Adopting a UDL mindset may require you to reconsider your overall assessment philosophy. Does everything a student completes need to be assessed? Do you allow students to retest? Do your methods of assessment encourage risk-taking? If students are demonstrating their learning in a variety of ways, how is it possible to evaluate fairly? Goal-based planning in combination with rubrics, especially rubrics created with the help of students, is one strategy used in UDL classrooms.

When you complete this module, you will:

  • understand how the UDL approach is compatible with the “big ideas” of the BC Curriculum.
  • understand why it’s important to separate learning goals from particular methods, materials, or activities.
  • know which types of assessments are compatible with a UDL approach.

Essential Questions

  • How does goal-based planning increase opportunities for choice and inclusion?
  • What are some of the reasons for assessing students?
  • What kinds of assessment tools would be effective in a UDL classroom?



Goal-Based Design and the BC Curriculum

Goal-based planning is essential to the UDL approach. Learn how to separate goals from methods in order to provide more entry points for diverse learners.


Backward Design

Backward Design identifies big ideas and assessments before designing lessons. Put simply, it is curriculum design that starts with the end in mind.


Assessment in the UDL Classroom

Assessment in the UDL classroom is flexible and responsive to student choice with the focus placed on the attainment of learning outcomes.



Rubrics communicate learning task expectations clearly and succinctly. Well designed rubrics will extend and challenge students to achieve beyond what is just expected.


Learning from Mistakes

Providing a safe learning environment where students are comfortable risking mistakes will enrich their learning experiences. In this video, teachers share their perspectives on encouraging students to make mistakes and learn from them.



A summative assessment doesn’t always have to be individual pen and paper tests. You can challenge the whole class to a game of Jeopardy! Watch a quick example of how a teacher uses the popular game show to review a unit on Famous Canadians.


  • Is your current planning method based on goals or on activities and materials?
  • What would be the advantages of communicating your learning intentions for each lesson in writing on the board?
  • How might you use assessment to promote learning?
  • How could you involve your students in determining how they will be assessed?

Dig Deeper


The One:

CAST’s top 10 UDL Tips for Assessment.

The Rest:

BC Inclusion educator Shelley Moore uses a 3-pyramid approach to curriculum design that starts with getting to know students, developing goals and then planning activities. Shelley’s course, Curriculum for All, is available on the SET-BC website.

Read about assessment changes in the revised BC curriculum on the government website.

Rethinking Classroom Assessment with Purpose in Mind is a document created by the Western and Northern Canadian Protocol for Collaboration in Education that comprehensively explains the purpose of each of the following types of assessment:

  • Assessment for Learning
  • Assessment as Learning
  • Assessment of Learning

EdTechTeacher provides Rubrics for Assessment . This page contains links to measure student learning by utilizing rubrics for various classroom activities

A new kind of rubric, the single-point rubric, contains only one column of criteria with columns on either side for noting what needs improvement and how the work exceeds expectations. This rubric allows maximum flexibility and may be simpler for students to understand.

Comments are closed.