Degree Type

Creative Component

Semester of Graduation

Spring 2019


Curriculum and Instruction

First Major Professor

Benjamin Gleason


Master of Education (MEd)




A study performed by Manu Kapur (2008) found that students who perform ill-structured tasks and initially fail are more successful in subsequent tasks than students who were assigned to perform well-structured tasks and succeed. It is possible to be successful and not learn (“Unproductive Success”), and it is possible to fail and learn more (“Productive Failure”).

This Capstone Project investigates the reason that failures can be productive, and devises a method for teaching in a way that incorporates failure into the classroom. This method, called “Delayed Guidance,” involves a short direct instruction/review stage, followed by an ill-structured task at which it is expected that students will not be successful. Following their failures, students will discuss and review failed solutions and come to correct understandings. This will lead students to being more successful in the final stage, which is a similar task to the first.

Copyright Owner

David Dubczak

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