Step 1: Challenge via Essential Questions

One of the ways to promote real learning and launch a PBL module is to ask searching, engaging questions, or better still to assist students to develop their own. 

Essential Questions:

  • are open-ended and don’t have a single, final, and correct answer
  • are thought-provoking and intellectually engaging. They also promote discussion and debate.  
  • call for higher-order thinking, such as analysis, inference, evaluation, and prediction. They can’t be effectively answered by recall alone.
  • point toward important, transferable ideas within disciplines. 
  • raise additional questions and spark further inquiry.
  • require support and justification, not just an answer.
  • recur over time. They can and should be revisited again and again.

Some examples: How does social media shape our views of the world? How can GBV be ended in our society? What do you need to be happy and fulfilled?

Jay McTighe and Grant Wiggins quoted in:
“What Is an Essential Question?” Summit Learning Blog, 20 Mar. 2020, 

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