Challenge Based Learning – Digital Promise

Challenge Based Learning

Challenge Based Learning

Challenge Based Learning (CBL) provides an efficient and effective framework for learning while solving real-world challenges. The framework is collaborative and hands-on, asking all participants (students, teachers, families, and community members) to identify big ideas, ask good questions, identify and solve challenges, gain deep subject area knowledge, develop 21st century skills, and share their experience with the world.

The Framework

The Challenge Based Learning Framework is divided into three interconnected phases: Engage, Investigate and Act. Each phase includes activities that prepare you to move to the next phase. Supporting the entire process is an ongoing process of documentation, reflection and sharing.


During the Engage phase, learners use the Essential Questioning process to move from an abstract big idea to a concrete and actionable challenge. The goal is to personally connect with academic content through the identification, development, and ownership of a compelling challenge.

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During the Investigate phase, learners plan and participate in a journey that builds the foundation for creating solutions to the challenge.

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In the Act phase, evidence-based solutions are developed and implemented with an authentic audience. The solutions are then evaluated based on the results.

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Document, Reflect and Share

Throughout the challenge, learners document the experience using audio, video, and photography. This ongoing collection of content provides the resources for reflection, informative assessment and evidence of learning.

Christine Yarzabek outlines how Challenge Based Learning can be applied to Learning Studios design challenges in her webinar Challenge Based Learning: Global Goals, Local Solutions. Watch highlights from the webinar:


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