Problem-based learning
Questions to help students focus and prepare for their PBL project
What are they:

PBL questions are primarily used at the start of a new problem your students are seeking to solve. They help students think deeply about the problem while helping them to frame the research they will undertake.

The best questions cover pre existing knowledge, help clarify the process to be undertaken, and identify the overall goals of the PBL. There is a host of research (Slavey and Duffy, 1995; Nilson,2010; Duch,, 2001) examining the benefits of PBL for students that range both individual (self awareness, self management, critical thinking) and collective (team work, empathy).

  • Students become more confident working independently 
  • Students improve their self management
  • Improved self-awareness and evaluation of group processes
  • Improved critical thinking and analysis
Example questions:
What are three things you want to find out about this topic?
Text Response
Define the problem you and your group are seeking to solve?
Text Response
What do you already know about this topic?
Text Response
How will you go about finding out this information?
Text Response
What kind of resources might help?
Text Response
Follow up activities:
  • Encourage students to share their responses with their groups
  • Ask students to regularly reflect on their preparation throughout the project’s duration
  • Ask students to reflect on their preparation, and observe the ways in which it helped them succeed
Pro tip:

Use a word cloud to show student responses to the class.

Access a library of template questions

Ziplet contains over 250+ template questions you can use with your students including the ones used for this check-in.

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