Backwards Design is the process of planning that essentially begins at the end. Traditionally teachers start with an activity and then decide the learning outcomes and match them to the curriculum before thinking about what is going to be assessed. This means that the assessment ends up being a “patch-up” at the end. Backwards Design reverses this process and starts with the questions: “What will students know at the end of the learning?” “What skills do they need to be able to demonstrate at the end of the learning?”
The second stage is determining acceptable evidence. So, how will we know what students have learnt and if they meet the standards?
Only after these two stages does the actual planning of the learning experiences and instruction occur.
This video gives a brief overview of the concept of backward design.