TU/e innovation Space CBL Toolkit

Getting started with CBL: the CBL Wheel of Life



This toolkit offers inspiration and practical guidance on “how” to do (re)design curricula in a CBL way. However, sometimes it can be difficult to know where to start, since CBL is not a fixed formula for everyone, but rather an approach that combines multiple elements. The combination of these elements can vary depending on the interests, motivations, context, resources and type of course/project that the teacher is working with.

The CBL Wheel of Life can be used to identify on which CBL aspects you may prioritise and focus on first, based on the specifics of your situation. With the outcome of your CBL Wheel of Life, you are welcome to explore the Methods section and find the methods that most suit your needs.



The Wheel of Life is a tool used in coaching and counselling to explore in which areas of your life you’d like to see change and improvement. Just like the traditional Wheel of Life, the CBL Wheel of Life is based on a few basic principles:

  • There’s not such a thing as the perfect CBL curriculum, course, project.
  • Any change or improvement towards a more CBL curriculum is based on the intrinsic interest and motivations of the teacher.
  • Any change or improvement towards a more CBL curriculum is based on the specific context and characteristics of the project/course that the teacher operates within.


You are now going to determine how much motivation you have to make improvemens in each CBL dimension and find out which dimensions are top priority for you.

STEP 1: Download the CBL Wheel of Life template and read the definitions of all the different CBL dimensions.

STEP 2: Consider your own course/project and give yourself a score from 1 ( = performing poorly, or not present at all) to 10 ( = performing in an excellent way and fully implemented) for each CBL dimension, by marking it on the wheel.

STEP 3: Connect the marks on the wheel: the resulting “spiderweb” is the visualization of how you currently perceive each CBL dimension in your course/project. What insight does this give you?

STEP 4: Report each score you gave yourself on the wheel in the first column (Score) of the table provided.

STEP 5: Then go to the Improvement column and indicate how much room for improvement there is per each dimension in the second column. This number is calculated with the formula 10 minus the score you gave in the first column (Score).

STEP 6: Go to the Motivation column: indicate how much motivation you have to make improvements on each dimension. Give a score between 1 (no motivation) and 10 (great motivation).

STEP 7: Finally, go to the Level of Priority column. Determine the level of priority, in other words: which dimensions of CBL are you going to work on first? Work out the level of priority by multiplying the numbers in the Improvement column by the numbers in the Motivation column.

STEP 8: Once you know which dimensions to start with, the next step is to create a development plan. For this, you can use the following questions:

  • Which CBL dimensions do you want to improve for your course/project?
  • Why do you want to improve these aspects?
  • What can you do to improve these aspects?
  • Who or what do you need for this?
  • How might the other dimensions be affected? How can you ensure that the other aspects are not neglected?

Of course, you are free to tackle multiple dimensions at the same time, but realise that focus often leads to better results. Also, ensure that your balance doesn’t swing the other way. For example, that you focus so much on “Teaching as Coaching” that other dimensions, like “Global Themes”, do not suffer.

With the outcome of your CBL Wheel of Life, can explore the Methods section and find the ones that match your top priorities, to get started on your development plan.

Hey, this Chiara, Education Designer at TU/e innovation Space. How can I help you?

This toolkit is meant to be constantly evolving and improving. Do you have any questions or feedback to make this better? Or do you need help with the toolkit? Get in touch!