Instructional Science

, Volume 32, Issue 1–2, pp 83–98 | Cite as

Process-Oriented Worked Examples: Improving Transfer Performance Through Enhanced Understanding

  • Tamara van GogEmail author
  • Fred Paas
  • Jeroen J.G. van Merriënboer


The research on worked examples has shown thatfor novices, studying worked examples is oftena more effective and efficient way of learningthan solving conventional problems. Thistheoretical paper argues that addingprocess-oriented information to worked examplescan further enhance transfer performance,especially for complex cognitive skills withmultiple possible solution paths.Process-oriented information refers to theprincipled (``why'') and strategic (``how'')information that experts use when solvingproblems. From a cognitive load perspective,studying the expert's ``why'' and ``how''information can be seen as constituting agermane cognitive load, which can fosterstudents' understanding of the principles of adomain and the rationale behind the selectedoperators, and their knowledge about howexperts select a strategy, respectively. Issueswith regard to the design, implementation, andassessment of effects of process-orientedworked examples are discussed, as well as thequestions they raise for future research.

cognitive load theory expert knowledge transfer worked examples 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tamara van Gog
    • 1
    Email author
  • Fred Paas
    • 1
  • Jeroen J.G. van Merriënboer
    • 1
  1. 1.Educational Technology Expertise CentreOpen University of the NetherlandsHeerlenThe Netherlands

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