Big Idea: The Future of Learning

Our world is full of “wicked” problems. To survive, we need flexible and lateral thinkers who approach the world with empathy and hope. Challenge Based Learning provides a framework and process to develop these types of learners, young and old.

Challenge: CBL It!

The Silver Lining Challenge

Silver Lining (noun): an advantage that comes from a difficult or unpleasant situation.

During this difficult time, the Silver Lining Challenge provides an opportunity to identify opportunities and challenges, collaborate, learn deeply, think differently, create meaningful solutions, and act.



Big Idea: Resilience

Communities around the world are experiencing the devastating impact of natural and human created disasters. They face a long and challenging road to recovery and need our support.

Challenge: Help a community recover from a disaster!

Take Action. Make a Difference.

Challenge Based Learning (CBL) provides an efficient and effective framework for learning while solving real-world challenges. The framework fuels collaboration to identify big ideas, ask thoughtful questions, and identify, investigate and solve challenges. CBL helps learners gain deep subject area knowledge and develop the skills necessary to thrive in an ever-changing world.


Take Action. Make a Difference.


The CBL Framework divides into three interrelated phases: Engage, Investigate, and Act. The framework acts as a customizable starting point for learners.


Search the library of resources that have been created by learners from around the world to support all phases of the the CBL journey.


Ready to get started? The Getting Started section provides some ideas for preparing for, and starting your first challenge.


The CBL Learning Center offers a variety of ways to deepen your knowledge. From Micro-credentials to an in-depth user guide – we have you covered.


CBL is a fluid framework that evolves based on lessons learned, new ideas and making connections. Check out some new ideas and share yours.


Stories inspire and give us a glimpse of what its possible when learners implement CBL. Explore the stories and think about what story you want to tell.


Challenge Based Learning is always evolving based on the experiences of the learners. Check out our latest thoughts as we co-learn and co-develop the framework with learners from around the world.

Visualizing CBL Success

< Return to New IdeasCBL provides a framework to deal with the challenges that we find and the ones that “find” us. The more we are versed in the framework, have visualized successfully using the process and prepared for the bumps in the road the more successful we...

CBL in the Elementary Classroom

CBL facilitates connections — deeper relationships that evolve between classmates and myself as co-collaborator on the learning journey. It is these connections that help kids see that they matter, that help them care.facebooktwitterBy Katie Morrow “How do I get my...

Big Idea: Violence

The problem is that we lack a framework for managing these tragedies, and do the hard work to address them. Without a framework we risk moving towards immediate solutions based on inherited opinions (from our parents, the media, etc.) that most likely have never been...


The challenge you choose can make all of the difference. Moving from a narrower challenge of lose weight to the challenge of “Be Healthy” increases the options for learning and possible solutions.

Identifying challenges.

Developing Sustainable Solutions.

Becoming Lifelong Learners




LIFELONG learners


Why Challenges?

We are surrounded by Challenges: large, small, local, global, short and long term. Some we choose, some choose us; some we look forward to, some we dread; some we address, some we try to ignore. Ultimately, how we individually and communally respond to Challenges will determine our future.  As problems become increasingly complex and pressing, the need to develop a generation of engaged Learners equipped to identify Challenges and develop innovative and sustainable Solutions is crucial.

Using Challenges to frame learning experiences originated from an exploration of reality television, conversations with individuals who’s lives center on Challenges, and reflection on personal learning experiences inside and outside of the classroom. When faced with a Challenge, successful groups and individuals leverage experience, harness internal and external resources, develop a plan and push forward to find the best solution. Along the way, there is experimentation, failure, success and ultimately consequences for actions. By adding Challenges to learning environments the result is urgency, passion, and ownership – ingredients often missing in schools.

Imagine millions of empowered Learners focused on creating solutions to local and global Challenges as part of their school work. The world becomes a better place.

voices From THE FIELD

What the teacher/learners are saying about the Challenge Based Learning Framework and Experience.

The strength of CBL is ownership . . . They go above and beyond expectations. Outside CBL – “I have to do this” Inside CBL – “I want to do this”


Apple Developer Academy

“CBL was a life changing experience for me. It was the first time in my life that I felt I was learning at my maximum capacity.”


Apple Developer Academy

“In terms of student reward, I think the project is going to be fantastic. If student engagement is the problem … then getting them projects where they get to be active in class is definitely the key to the solution.”


Punahou School

“In CBL the students become learning “enthusiasts.” They rediscover the magic of learning, that learning can be fun and deep importance in their lives.”


Apple Developer Academy