Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning

2012 Edition
| Editors: Norbert M. Seel

Worked Example Effect

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1428-6_20

Synonyms

Definition

A worked example provides a step-by-step solution to a problem or task. The worked example effect occurs when learning is enhanced by studying worked examples to problems rather than by trying to solve the original problems. It is a form of direct instruction. In learning new material learners are shown fully worked examples to study instead of trying to work out the solution steps. The most effective format is for learners to study a worked example and then immediately after, try to solve a problem with similar features. This example-problem pair format is repeated over a number of iterations building to a complete set of problems that students need to learn in order to master the new materials. Extensive research has shown that for novices in particular, this pairing methodology of study-solve, leads to superior performance...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Atkinson, R. K., Renkl, A., & Merrill, M. M. (2003). Transitioning from studying examples to solving problems: Combining fading with prompting fosters learning. Journal of Educational Psychology, 95, 774–783.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Cooper, G., & Sweller, J. (1987). Effects of schema acquisition and rule automation on mathematical problem-solving transfer. Journal of Educational Psychology, 79(4), 347–362.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Kalyuga, S., Ayres, P., Chandler, P., & Sweller, J. (2003). The expertise reversal effect. Educational Psychologist, 38, 23–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Kirschner, P. A., Sweller, J., & Clark, R. E. (2006). Why minimal guidance during instruction does not work: An analysis of the failure of constructivist, discovery, problem-based, experiential, and inquiry-based teaching. Educational Psychologist, 46, 75–86.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Paas, F. G. W. C., & Van Merriënboer, J. J. G. (1994). Variability of worked examples and transfer of geometrical problem-solving skills: A cognitive-load approach. Journal of Educational Psychology, 86(1), 122–133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Quilici, J. L., & Mayer, R. E. (1996). Role of examples in how students learn to categorize statistics word problems. Journal of Educational Psychology, 88(1), 144–161.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Schwonke, R., Renkl, A., Krieg, C., Wittwer, J., Aleven, V., & Salden, R. (2009). The worked-example effect: Not an artefact of lousy control conditions. Computers in Human Behavior, 25, 258–266.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Sweller, J. (1999). Instructional design in technical areas. Camberwell, Australia: ACER.Google Scholar
  9. Sweller, J., & Cooper, G. A. (1985). The use of worked examples as a substitute for problem solving in learning algebra. Cognition and Instruction, 2(1), 59–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Trafton, J. G., & Reiser, R. J. (1993). The contribution of studying examples and solving problems to skill acquisition. In M. Polson (Ed.), Proceedings of the 15th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 1017–1022). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  11. Van Merriënboer, J. J. G., & Sweller, J. (2005). Cognitive load theory and complex learning: Recent developments and future directions. Educational Psychology Review, 17, 147–177.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EducationUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia