The Effectiveness of Understanding by Design Model in Science Teaching: A Quasi-experimental Study

Melike OZYURT1,*, Havva KAN2, Aslı KIYIKCI2
1Gaziantep University, TURKEY
DOI: 10.14689/ejer.2021.94.1

Purpose: Developing 21st-century skills and achieving learning outcomes in students’ curriculum can only be accomplished through conscious and effective learning. Understanding by Design Model (UbD) is a model that aims to realise meaningful and permanent learning with student-centred practices based on understanding in teaching designs. This study aimed to examine the UbD model’s effectiveness in primary school science teaching within the context of science achievement and permanence.
Research Methods: It was a semi-experimental study. The study group consisted of 40 primary school fourth graders studying at two distinct primary schools in Gaziantep in the academic year of 2019-2020.
There were 18 students in the experimental group and 22 students in the control group. While science teaching designed with Understanding by Design (UbD) model was adopted for the experimental group for five weeks, routine teaching practices were maintained for the control group. The science Achievement Test developed by the researchers was used to collect data. Research data were analysed using Mann Whitney U-Test and Wilcoxon Signed Ranks Test. Findings: Research results indicated that the UbD model’s adoption in science teaching positively affected students’ academic achievements and the permanence of learning for the lesson under investigation. In light of the results, it was recommended to extend the effective use of the UbD in science teaching by providing primary school teachers with in-service training and prospective teachers with applied training within teacher training programs based on Understanding by Design. Implications for Research and Practice: The present study investigated the effect of the UbD on achievements and permanence for the cognitive domain. Future research may handle the effect of the UbD on learning in affective and psychomotor domains.
Keywords: Understanding, science teaching, academic achievement, understanding by design, primary education.