PBL: Driving Question
Objective: This unit helps define the Driving Question for a PBL project. We recommend you go in order but it is not mandatory. At the end of this unit, you will submit a document with three Driving Questions you've derived. Watch for the next unit: Asking Questions: KWL/N2K
Creating the Driving Question for a PBL unit has, historically, been the most difficult part of the planning process. It is a lot of pressure: How do we write a question that is interesting enough and deep enough to derive the understanding we want and expect? Fortunately the idea of inquiry-based learning has caught on so quickly and meaningfully that even most Common Core Standard Performance Tasks can be used as a PBL unit.
There are four resources below that will help you understand what Driving Questions are and are not. Check them out and then try writing your own Driving Question that will be your exemplar question throughout the rest of this series of units.
1. BASIC UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT THE DRIVING QUESTION IS ABOUT AND WHY IT IS IMPORTANT
ARTICLE: "How to Write Effective Driving Questions for Project-Based Learning" by Andrew Miller
Ask yourself: How do you turn the four "poor" driving questions at the end of his article into better questions? Try one.
2. WHAT MAKES A GOOD QUESTION AND WHAT MAKES A BAD QUESTION?
VIDEO: "Essential Question: What is it? How do I write one?" by sturnbow78
Ask yourself: What are the qualities of a good driving question? What are the things you want to avoid?
3. HOW TO MAKE A MEDIOCRE QUESTION INTO AN AMAZING ONE
ARTICLE PART 2: "How to Refine Driving Questions for Effective Project-Based Learning" by Andrew Miller
Ask yourself: What is the difference between an essential question and a driving question?
4. TUBRICS: DRIVING QUESTION CHEAT-SHEET
VIDEO: The Birth of the Tubric from BIE
ACTIVITY: Driving Question Tubric 2.0 from BIE
Ask yourself: Does this Tubric work for me?
The document below is the beginning of a complete-PBL lesson design template. Each series in this course will add more to the template. For our purposes, the only part of the template that is relevant is the Driving Question part.
FILE > MAKE A COPY of this template and create three different Driving Questions for upcoming units or three different questions for the same unit. Note: You will need to choose one of your driving questions to use throughout the rest of this series.