Guided discovery is an inductive approach to learning that revolves around the student. Inductive teaching approaches start with a small piece of information that learners can connect to more general information. This activates their prior knowledge and helps scaffold concepts. Guided discovery about autonomous problem-solving that happens at a subconscious level. It generates interest and excitement around a topic by cultivating curiosity.
The guided discover experience can take the form of team-building activities, scenarios, lab experiments, or simulations. Coaching is a form of guided discovery frequently used in organizational settings. Coaches support and encourage learners to make their conclusions without imposing their thoughts. This gives learners control over their own learning experience.
Using Guided Discovery in an Organization
To use guided discovery successfully in an organizational setting requires:
- Well-designed tasks that bring learners toward understanding key issues that are relevant to his or her job.
- A student-centered approach. This means that the facilitator should not impose knowledge on the learners but rather allow them to explore the answer to their questions independently.
- Challenging learners to experiment with different ideas and positions without worrying about criticism or failure.
- An unstructured topic that does not have black or white answers.
Strategies for Guided Discovery
Guided discovery can be used to engage learners in lessons from learning a new software program office policy to professional development opportunities. Here are some examples of how instructional designers can use guided discovery in an organization.
- Allow learners to engage with a software program without an explicit purpose. Let them discover the navigation, features, menu options, etc. on their own. Then, follow it up with a challenge.
- Before introducing learners to a new policy, pose questions that engage learners in a discussion about the problems solved by the new policy. Allow learners to discuss the issues that should be resolved. This generates interest and relates the policy to something learners can understand.
- Learners can shadow others who work in areas of interest. Observing others gives exposes others to new concepts, ideas, and roles. It also offers learners a chance to reflect on what types of roles they like or want to learn within an organization.
Benefits of Guided Discovery
The guided discovery increases student participation during courses. It also fosters collaboration between learners. Learners who engage in guided discover are more likely to feel empowered, autonomous, and self-reliant. All of these behaviors are related to increased retention of information. This supports the ultimate goal of training, which is that learners can remember and apply what they have learned once they are on the job.
Guided discovery can be conducted during instructor-led training, blended training, or fully online training programs. In blended and online training approaches, a learning management system can help to organize content and guide students through the learning process. Request a demonstration of the Mindflash platform. See for yourself how easy the Mindflash learning management system is to use.