Educational Psychology Review

, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp 509–539

Expertise Reversal Effect and Its Implications for Learner-Tailored Instruction

Review Article


The interactions between levels of learner prior knowledge and effectiveness of different instructional techniques and procedures have been intensively investigated within a cognitive load framework since mid-90s. This line of research has become known as the expertise reversal effect. Apart from their cognitive load theory-based prediction and explanation, patterns of empirical findings on the effect fit well those in studies of Aptitude Treatment Interactions (ATI) that were originally initiated in mid-60s. This paper reviews recent empirical findings associated with the expertise reversal effect, their interpretation within cognitive load theory, relations to ATI studies, implications for the design of learner-tailored instructional systems, and some recent experimental attempts of implementing these findings into realistic adaptive learning environments.


Expertise reversal effect Prior knowledge Expertise Cognitive load theory Learner-tailored instruction 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EducationThe University of New South WalesSydneyAustralia

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