Choice Boards

Choice Boards are used to offer students choice in subject, activity, or method of demonstrating achievement. There are lots of digital and non-digital tools that can be used to learn and demonstrate understanding. They come in different shapes and sizes, for example tic-tac-toe and game boards.

Aim for high-quality tasks that promote a high level of thinking in students. After readings about Icons for Depth & Complexity, I've taken a more critical look at what I assigned and examined my criteria for strong task statements - sharing the why of what they were doing, connecting to standards and giving them success criteria for each task. I didn't just tell them to "Draw a still life" but I gave them artists to research, links to videos on how to set up a still life, how to draw values, etc. and specific criteria that I wanted them to aim for.

You will still want to limit the choices, especially if your students are new to choice, because otherwise they may get overwhelmed and not know where to start. When differentiating, the recommended technique is to choose two of content, process, and product. Within those areas, you can also limit the tools or websites or activities being offered, so that students are able to choose more easily. Once students are used to having choice, you can move them towards more independent paths.

Below are some articles with examples that can be copied and adapted to your own lessons. Those are great starts. But for each "choice" you should consider some of the questions I've just mentioned. There's no rule that your Choice Board can't link to other information, maybe even a Hyperdoc. In fact, visit Hyperdocs for examples of choice boards or ways to integrate choice boards with hyperdocs.


Here is an example of the choice board I gave to students during distance learning. We had to switch gears quickly due to the pandemic, and I knew that not all students had a full set of art materials. All choices linked to another page on my art wiki that fleshed out requirements that included art history or theory connections, technique videos and guidelines. Assessment was more general so that I didn't have to create separate rubrics for each one, and included areas like workmanship and presentation, originality, inclusion of process photos, and meeting the criteria of the chosen prompt.

The Down-Side to Choice

As so frequently happens, there's been a push-back against offering too much choice. Some of the reasons include:

  • cognitive overload

  • the tendency of students to pick the easiest option

  • students may not know enough about a topic to make an informed choice

  • choice does not necessarily equal depth

What Teachers can Do

  • determine what the objectives of the assignment are and only offer choices that meet those objectives. In that way, an equitable rubric can be designed that will cover all the different choices.

  • Structure and gradually release new content before letting students taking control of their learning through choice.

  • Limit choice to avoid cognitive overload

I've blogged about the cons and pitfalls here:

More About this Topic

Places to Find Choice Boards

Kasey Bell interviews Laura Steinbrink about Choice Boards - examples you can copy

Kasey Bell's post on Interactive Learning Menus and Choice Boards

19 Choice Board Templates for 2019 -

Slidesmania has some choice board templates that you can use. Here's an example of how to use one of their templates:

Shelly Sanchez Terrel - Student Choice Boards, Menus, and Lessons on Wakelet -

Christine Dixon has an excellent "Show what you Know" choice board over at She cautions not offering ALL the choices at once, but gradually introducing students to the possibilities.

Julie Smith aka The Techie Teacher gave a talk on Choice Boards for Teach with Tech Conference 2020. Her slide deck is on her blog at

Love the one shared by @LadyWesner and Tech.Learn.Innovate with all kinds of idea to make thinking visible or encourage high-order and creative products! Find it at