Investigate - Challenge Based Learning


Building from the Challenge Learners develop contextualized learning experiences and conduct rigorous, content and concept-based research to create a foundation for actionable and sustainable solutions.

The investigation phase includes developing Guiding Questions, identifying Guiding Activities and Resources, and ensuring alignment with Standards or curriculum goals and research analysis.  Through these steps, the learners (students, teachers, administrators, community members) create a curriculum map that reflects personal and group interests, is aligned to standards and curriculum requirements and will lead them to thoughtful solutions for their challenge,

Guiding Questions

The Investigation phase begins with generating questions related to the Challenge. The questions include everything that needs to be learned to develop an informed solution to the challenge. The questions are categorized and prioritized creating an outline for the learner’s journey.

Guiding Activities and Resources

Next, the learners review the highest priority questions and begin to identify Guiding Activities and Resources that can be used to answer them.

Any resource or activity that helps answer the guiding questions and develop an innovative, insightful, and realistic solution can be used. Examples of Guiding Resources include: online content and courses, databases, textbooks, and social networks. Examples of Guiding Activities include: simulations, experiments, projects, problem sets, research, and games.

Curriculum and Standards Alignment

If the challenge experience is connected to specific subject areas (Math, Science, Language Arts, etc) driven by standards and external assessments, the next step is to align the questions and activities with the applicable standards.


Once all of the Guiding Questions have been addressed and the results of the Guiding Activities recorded, the learners analyze the accumulated data and identify themes.

The Investigation phase concludes with reports and presentations that demonstrate the learners have successfully addressed all of the Guiding Questions and developed clear conclusions that will set the foundation for the solution.

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