What Makes a Good Driving Question?
Effective driving questions share a number of qualities, regardless of the topic. Why are these qualities important to a question’s strength to drive a project?
Find out why by placing your cursor over each puzzle piece in the image.
Good questions often involve an element of mystery. Intriguing questions cause students to wonder, to have a compelling "need to know."
Good questions get under your skin, provoking you to investigate, discover, figure out a response or learn more about a topic.
Good questions can't be answered with a simple "yes" or "no," and a Google search won't turn up the solution. Complex questions set the stage for higher-order thinking.
Good questions live in the real world, not just in the classroom. For inspiration, look at the questions that captivate journalists, historians, scientists, architects, photographers, engineers, artists, doctors, technologists and others.
Good questions don't have one right answer. Open-ended questions may challenge students to make an argument, defend a position, or weigh the pros and cons of potential solutions.
Good questions set the stage for action. They challenge students to ask, "What can we do about this issue?"
Good questions matter to youth. They connect to their lives, their families and their communities.
Good questions encourage higher-order thinking skills such as making connections and inferences, evaluating, applying existing information to solve new problems, and much more.
Good questions get at core content. They are thought-provoking, and inspire students to reflect on important ideas and information.
Reflect on This
Take another look at the driving questions you entered in My Notebook for the previous page. Which of the qualities shown here do your questions incorporate? Try revising your questions to incorporate more of these qualities! Consider making your questions more actionable by starting them with “How can we…” or “What can we do about….”
- 2Key Terms
- 3Project-Based Learning Diagram
- 4What Makes a Good Project?
- 5Life Is Full of Projects
- 6Benefits of Projects
- 721st Century Skills
- 8Habits of Mind
- 9Projects or Activities?
- 10Project Kickoff
- 11Understanding Community Needs
- 12Become Active Investigators
- 13Engaging Students in Active Learning
- 14What Makes a Good Driving Question?
- 15Project Launch
- 16Learning by Doing
- 17Learning by Doing: Example
- 18Project-Based Learning in Action
- 19The Adult's Role
- 20Working With Diverse Student Groups
- 22Culminating Event Examples
- 23Time to Shine
- 24The Audience
- 25Document and Evaluate the Learning
- 27Civic Learning and Engagement Introduction
- 28Civic Learning and Engagement
- 29Committed to Positive Change
- 30Key Civic Terms
- 31A Special Kind of Project-Based Learning
- 32Civic Learning and Engagement in Action
- 33Encouraging Active Participation
- 34Building 21st Century Skills
- 35Linking With School-Day Civics
- 36Linking Civic Learning and Engagement With School-Day Learning
- 37Linking Skills and Academics With Civic Life
- 38Starting a Project
- 39Develop a Plan of Action
- 40Implement a Plan of Action
- 41Evaluate and Reflect
- 42Realizing the Results
- 43Learn More Library
- 46Check for Understanding
- 1Implementing Project-Based Learning
- 2Keep It Youth Centered
- 3Youth-Centered Coaching Moment
- 4Set Clear Goals and Objectives
- 5Goals and Objectives Coaching Moment
- 6Make it Doable and Sustainable
- 7Projects Over Time — Coaching Moment
- 8Facilitating Self-Directed Learning
- 9Self-Directed Learning Example
- 10Self-Directed Learning — Example 2
- 11Facilitation Strategies
- 12Think Globally, Act Locally
- 13Projects for Every Age
- 14Incorporate Multiple Perspectives
- 15Facilitation for Success
- 16Working With Agencies and Groups
- 17Demonstrate and Document Learning
- 18Demonstrate Learning — Coaching Moment
- 19Demonstrate Learning — Coaching Moment 2
- 20Pull It Together
- 21Additional Resources