Why is Understanding by Design referred to as "Backward Design"?

Because you first identify your desired results, then determine what evidence will show the students learned the desired material and then plan the actual instruction methods.

What is the difference between evaluation and assessment?

While each gauges students performance, evalution is after the lesson assessment is ongoing and happens throughout the lesson.

What type of assessment is most often used in your classroom or in a classroom when you were a student? How can its use be justified?

The majority of assessment has been formal, for example tests and quizzes. Formal assessment is a concrete way to judge what students learned.

What can assessment say and cannot say about learning?

Depending on what kind of assessment is used we can find different things. Formal assessment can be misleading because it only gives you a snap shot of how the student performed that particular day, but it gives hard numbers for accountabillity. Performance assessment is less traditional but often thought of as more effective it shows more of what a student understands each day and over an extended period of time.

What is the key to constructing rubrics?

The key to constructing rubrics is to first understand the abilities of your students, secondly determine what you want them to have learned and third determine what evidence will show that the students learned the desired material.