Challenge Based Learning

Created by Apple, CBL, and my good friends at Alas Media

What does this look like in our classrooms?

STARTS with the students' questions! Give them larger, greater concepts if they are stuck.

Challenge Based Learning White Paper - Page 5


"The result, as this study shows, is increased engagement, extra time spent working on the challenge, creative application of technology, and increased student satisfaction with schoolwork . Not incidentally, students also mastered the subject-area content and developed many of the skills identified as vital for 21st century learners."

Overall Outcomes - Page 14


Student Experience - Page 18

"I think that schools today need to change ... if teachers would focus on more than one teaching styles then less people would drop out and everyone would get better grades. And I think that it will help us prepare for the real world. In school things are different, they give us papers and we fill in the blanks. We never problem solve. I also hope that we can maybe change the way the rooms set up, because as small of a thing as it is, it affects us. A lot of people give up just walking in the door and seeing the rows of desks." 9th grade student, Pratt High School


"It was very hard at first because this project was self-directed. My group and I had never experienced a self-learning project so it was difficult to know how and where to begin. I didn’t like how you weren’t able to ask the teacher for an answer, or how you weren’t able to answer the teacher. Instead you had to do both the asking and the answering which was very difficult ... [but] as we worked through it, it became easier and started to come more naturally. We divided up the work so that we could compile everyone’s ideas into one. We also documented our work, which helped us to understand what to do next ..." 10th grade student, Punahou School

Teacher Experience - Page 22

"One of the things that really struck me ... was the challenge-based approach of having a topic, asking a question, then asking further questions, refining... the whole process [is reflective of ] the scientific method, exactly how you would go about doing the research and writing for a paper traditionally ... this is a great way to go about doing that. I think it’s going to really affect who I am as a teacher." Teacher, Punahou School


"One of the biggest surprises for me was the enthusiasm from one of the particular classes of students. They are the ones that have the most trouble academically. They are a class specifically for learning study skills. But this particular research, and topic, and brainstorming they seem to really be enjoying. So it is bringing out a creative side of them that they might not have been aware of." Teacher, Moreau Catholic


Myth of the Digital Native

"When a student came back from Thanksgiving, and I had said, “See who you can contact,” and [this] kid comes back with contact information from a professor who teaches in London...Talk about taking this to an international level, this girl. I can’t believe she had the guts to do that as a 14-year-old kid. She just wanted a good resource, even if it was across the ocean." Teacher, Mooresville Graded Schools

Screen_shot_2011-08-31_at_7.44.26_PM.png*Taken from the CLB research report from the New Media Consortium located on the Apple Web site for CBL.

Key Components

Essential Question
The Challenge
Guiding Questions
Guiding Activities and Resources

Recommendations for Practice - Page 30

Select the challenge carefully, and make it a real one.
Build 21st century skills into the project right from the start.
Whatever the timeframe, teachers need to budget project time wisely.
Schedule the project at a time when it does not conflict with other demands on student time.
Allow dedicated work time during the school day.
Give students access to technology, and provide adequate technology support.
Give students the opportunity to act on their solutions.
Practice, iterate, and improve the process.

In Practice - School Snapshots - Page 10

Mooresville Graded Schools -

Big Idea: War
Question: What is war and how does it affect society?
Challenge: Using WWI as a reference point, tell the story of war and its impact on society.

The Student Created Web site

Moreau Catholic High School -

Big Idea: Sustainability of Resources
Question: What is Moreau’s paper footprint?
Challenge: Reduce Moreau’s paper footprint, reduce waste, and save paper

"The most meaningful outcome was a group of students put together a podcast of the people that they looked up to. They used key figures in history, or from a particular sport and then they used people who were actually in their everyday lives. And it was really neat to see them speak highly of people that you sometimes don’t hear them speaking highly of or that you didn’t even know that they thought that way about someone and that they actually look up to this person as a role model was just awesome." Teacher, Pratt High School

Student Engagement

1) Purpose
2) Audience
3) Choice

"Once we started talking about the activities aspect of it... once I said, “Looking at the questions you came up with, what are some activities you could do that could address some of those questions?” that’s when they started really getting into it, and the energy in the room went from just like “blllleh” [deflates] to like “wooooo” [sits up very straight and excited] because they started thinking about “Okay, what could we do [snaps fingers] to get people out of their cliques on the campus? How can we get them interacting in a more direct way outside of their normal social, cultural boxes?” And their ideas are really things I never would have thought of, and I’m really curious to see if they can pull it off [laughs]!" Teacher, Punahou School

Why CBL?