Guided Design

"A New Concept in Course Design and Operation"

Robert A. Stager and Charles E. Wales

Engineering Education, March 1972 - page 539

Guided Design is a new concept in course design and operation. In Guided Design students "grow up" by learning to learn and think for themselves. This is accomplished by having students simultaneously learn and use concepts to solve meaningful open-ended problems. The name Guided Design comes from the series of printed "Instructions and Feedback" which help the student learn how to proceed through the decision making process. Class time is devoted to small group discussions of project steps or to a search for required information. Guided Design is the result of an educational systems design based on a set of intellectual operations, selected communication activities, appropriate psychological principles, defined content-performance objectives, and mastery. The product of this work resembles programmed instruction in many ways, but in programmed instruction steps are relatively small and each student works alone on a single answer problem. Guided Design involves large steps and the students construct their response to an open-ended problem through discussion. In effect, Guided Design is the logical extension of the programming concept to the decision-making process.

"Does How You Teach Make A Difference?"

Charles E. Wales

Engineering Education, February 1979

Guided Design was implemented in a new six­credit freshman engineering program at West Virginia University in 1969. Since that time, the number of students graduating from the college has risen by 32 percent and the graduation grade point average of these students has been 25 percent higher than that of a control group.

Improving Problem­Solving Skills Through a Course In Guided Design

Gene D'Amour, Charles E. Wales

Engineering Education: February 1977

The Nature of Evidence course is described in this article. A prime objective of this design was to provide students with an interdisciplinary, "applied" focus on the way in which professionals in the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities gather evidence and make decisions as they solve problems. Through work in applied philosophy, the students also compare and contrast the strategy of each professional they study. This focus provides the students with an integrated examination of diverse disciplines.