While unguided or minimally-guided learning approaches are very popular and intuitively appealing, the point is made that evidence from empirical studies over the past half century consistently indicates that they are less effective and less efficient than learning approaches that place a strong effort on guidance of the student learning process. Only when learners have sufficient high prior knowledge that provides ‘internal’ guidance does the advantage of guidance begin to reduce. Recent developments in instructional research and instructional design models that support guided learning are briefly described. 

Paul Kirschner, John Sweller & Richard E. Clark

Kirschner, P., Sweller, J., & Clark, R. (2006). Why Unguided Learning Does Not Work: An Analysis of the Failure of Discovery Learning, Problem-Based Learning, Experiential Learning and Inquiry-Based Learning. Educational Psychologist, 41(2), 75–86.