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Failing to Learn: Towards a Unified Design Approach for Failure-Based Learning

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Educational Technology Research and Development Volume 63, Number 6, ISSN 1042-1629


To date, many instructional systems are designed to support learners as they progress through a problem-solving task. Often these systems are designed in accordance with instructional design models that progress the learner efficiently through the problem-solving process. However, theories from various fields have discussed failure as a strategic way to engender learning. Although researchers suggest that failure may be an element of problem-solving, no models have discussed how to employ failure strategically within instructional design. Given this gap, we first present failure-based research from various theoretical frameworks. Based on the research, we proffer failure-based principles for learning systems design. Implications and future research are also discussed.


Tawfik, A.A., Rong, H. & Choi, I. (2015). Failing to Learn: Towards a Unified Design Approach for Failure-Based Learning. Educational Technology Research and Development, 63(6), 975-994. Retrieved May 12, 2021 from .

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