The application of a pedagogical framework to the design of university courses

Ronald R. Stoltz, Robert D. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


There are many different approaches to the instructional design of university courses. This paper has developed a method for designing course structure and teaching techniques with the objective of independence of learning. It has been based on the application of a pedagogical framework which describes three "Forms of Instruction" (Kowlitz and Smith, 1987) on a continuum from highly dependent learners (Form 1) to highly independent learners (Form 3). To apply this to an individual course the forms have been plotted against time to determine pedagogical approaches which are most appropriate through an academic term to maximize student learning and facilitate the goal of independent learning. The method has been illustrated through a case study that applied the technique to two courses on a similar topic, one at the undergraduate and one at the graduate level of instruction. In both courses the instructors attempted to elevate the student's independence as learners as much as possible through the semester. Through several years of application it has been found that the approach has facilitated undergraduate student progression through Forms 1 and 2 through the semester, and a minimal level of Form 3 has been achieved. The method has facilitated graduate student progression more quickly through Forms 1 and 2 and has allowed for the last half of the semester to be at Form 3 or a highly independent learning level. This method has the potential to be applied to any course where independence of learning is an objective.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-168
Number of pages10
JournalLandscape and Urban Planning
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • Landscape education
  • Pedagogy
  • Teaching methods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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