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

Abstract

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.

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Correspondence to Tamara van Gog.

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van Gog, T., Paas, F. & van Merriënboer, J.J. Process-Oriented Worked Examples: Improving Transfer Performance Through Enhanced Understanding. Instructional Science 32, 83–98 (2004). https://doi.org/10.1023/B:TRUC.0000021810.70784.b0

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  • cognitive load theory
  • expert knowledge
  • transfer
  • worked examples