Are Provided Examples or Faded Examples More Effective for Declarative Concept Learning?
Declarative concepts (abstract concepts denoted by key terms and definitions) are foundational content in many courses at most grade levels. The current research compared the relative effectiveness of provided examples to faded examples (a technique involving a transition from studying provided examples to completing partial examples to generating examples) for learning declarative concepts. In two experiments (experiment 1: n = 146, experiment 2: n = 131), participants were randomly assigned to study provided examples or complete faded examples. Two days later, participants took two final tests to assess their long-term learning: a novel example classification test and an example generation test. Results across experiments were highly consistent: performance on both final tests was similar following provided examples and faded examples practice; however, provided examples took much less time to implement during practice. Therefore, considering both long-term learning and efficiency outcomes collectively for evaluating the effectiveness of learning techniques, provided examples continue to be more effective than techniques involving both provided examples and generated examples for learning declarative concepts.
KeywordsDeclarative concepts Relational categories Provided examples Faded examples
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