Learning from Examples: Instructional Principles from the Worked Examples Research

  title={Learning from Examples: Instructional Principles from the Worked Examples Research},
  author={Robert K. Atkinson and Sharon J. Derry and Alexander Renkl and Donald W. Wortham},
  journal={Review of Educational Research},
  pages={181 - 214}
Worked examples are instructional devices that provide an expert's problem solution for a learner to study. Worked-examples research is a cognitive-experimental program that has relevance to classroom instruction and the broader educational research community. A frame- work for organizing the findings of this research is proposed, leading to instructional design principles. For instance, one instructional design principle suggests that effective examples have highly integrated components. They… 

Figures from this paper

Learning from Worked-Out Examples : The Role of Example Processing Strategies and Example Design
In previous research, Gerjets, Scheiter, and Tack (2000) demonstrated that learners experience serious difficulties in utilizing instructional examples according to their profitability when
The Cambridge Handbook of Multimedia Learning: The Worked-Out Examples Principle in Multimedia Learning
Series of examples with successively faded worked-out steps should be employed in order to structure the transition from example study to problem solving in later phases of skill acquisition.
Learning from Worked-Out Examples and Problem Solving
One of the classic instructional effects associated with the Cognitive Load Theory (CLT) is the worked-example effect in cognitive skill acquisition (see Chapters 2 and 3, this volume; Paas & van
Worked examples in the classroom
In my opinion, a more integrative approach where information presentation, practice as well as feedback provision are based on CLT will even show larger positive effects on learning, also in ecologically valid settings.
How Effective are Instructional Explanations in Example-Based Learning? A Meta-Analytic Review
The worked example effect within cognitive load theory is a very well-established finding. The concrete effectiveness of worked examples in a learning situation, however, heavily depends on further
Exemplification in science instruction: Teaching and learning through examples
Although the practice of giving examples is central to the effective teaching and learning of science, it has been the object of little educational research. The present study attends to this issue
Exploring the Assistance Dilemma: Comparing Instructional Support in Examples and Problems
In this never-before conducted comparison of the four instructional materials, it is found that worked examples are the most efficient instructional material in terms of time and mental effort spent on the intervention problems, but it is not found that the materials differentially benefitted learners of high and low prior knowledge levels.


Classroom lessons: Integrating cognitive theory and classroom practice.
A timely complement to John Bruer's Schools for Thought, Classroom Lessons documents eight projects that apply cognitive research to improve classroom practice. The chapter authors are all principal
Structuring Effective Worked Examples
Under some conditions, substituting worked examples for problems or exercises enhances learning and subsequent problem solving. Under other conditions, worked examples are no more effective, and
The subgoal learning model: Creating better examples so that students can solve novel problems.
Learners have great difficulty solving problems requiring changes to solutions demonstrated in examples. However, if the solution procedures learners form are organized by subgoals, then they are
Learning Strategies and Transfer in the Domain of Programming
We report two studies involving an intelligent tutoring system for Lisp (the Camegie Mellon University Lisp Tutor). In Experiment 1, we developed a model, based on production system theories of
From Example Study to Problem Solving: Smooth Transitions Help Learning
Abstract Research has shown that it is effective to combine example study and problem solving in the initial acquisition of cognitive skills. Present methods for combining these learning modes are
Learning from Worked-Out Examples: The Effects of Example Variability and Elicited Self-Explanations
It was found that the acquisition of transferable knowledge can be supported by eliciting self-explanations, and especially learners with low levels of prior topic knowledge profited from the elicitation procedure.
Generalizing Solution Procedures Learned From Examples
Three experiments tested the hypothesis that when learners are led to group steps from example solutions, they will be more likely to learn subgoals that can be transferred to novel problems, thereby
Using worked examples as an instructional support in the algebra classroom.
In the 2 experiments reported here, high school students studied worked examples while learning how to translate English expressions into algebraic equations. In Experiment 1, worked examples were
Learning from Examples via Self-Explanations
It was found that not only do the good students, those who subsequently had greater success at solving the end-of- the-chapter problems, generate a greater amount of explanations, but moreover, the quality of their explanations was better in that it explicated the tacit knowledge, as well as related the example statements to principles and concepts introduced in the text.
An Empirically Based Instructional Design Theory for Teaching Concepts
An instructional design theory for concept teaching is presented. The theory is based on direct empirical validation from a programmatic line of instructional systems research. Concept learning is