Assessment is a particular strength of Understanding by Design.


            Assessment is a particular strength of Understanding by Design. Typical curriculum development begins with concepts, then develops learning activities and concludes with assessment methods. Teachers who use Understanding by Design are encouraged to “think like an assessor” and design their assessment methods first.[1] As Understanding by Design relies on value in the real world to draw students into engagement with the material, it is highly suited for voluntary education programs such as those which take place in the church.

            This project attempts to resolve real problems which create high anxiety in churches; hope will also draw people into engaging with the material.[2] One form of assessment, therefore, will be involvement which can be measured as the number of seminars offered within the conference, the number of districts sponsoring seminars, the number of churches participating and the total number of attenders. Engagement can also be measured by the number of Website visits and downloads. Innovators at the seminar will receive a printed handout for that seminar, but Early Adopters back at the local church will download their copies from the Website. The specific files downloaded will demonstrate exactly where interest is developing.





[1] The quote is a selection from David O. Kueker’s Fuller Seminary Doctor of Ministry project submitted in September, 2007, entitled Diagnosis, Dialogue, and Decision: A Threefold Process of Revitalization For the Illinois Great Rivers Conference.
It is shared here in recognition of its 12th Anniversary along with comments to update and provide perspective on the material. The original project was a Training Manual/Study Guide of three Seminars supported by three chapters of research and an Introduction. The material is available for download at In 2009 it was provided for purchase as a softcover book entitled Designing Discipleship Systems: Christian Disciple Making For Any Size Church, Any Theology through

[2][3] [4][5] [6][7] [8]

All Scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Please review the page How and Why We Use Quotes.

[1]Wiggins and McTighe, Understanding by Design, 63-97.

[2]In some ways the S-curve of rapid adoption is a paradigm shift, where the pragmatic majority seizes upon the properly contextualized innovation as a means of reducing anxiety; when this happens, the balancing process itself implements the change throughout as a part of new homeostasis.

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