Quick Read: Using Worked examples to support novice learners

10 October 2019

Worked examples are a tool commonly used in a range of subjects including Maths & Science to support novice learners. By studying worked examples alongside the completion of traditional practice problems, learners are exposed to the problem solving process as well as frequently applied techniques.

A well constructed worked example:

  • Helps reduce extraneous cognitive load on learners
  • Aids learners in assimilating new knowledge into their existing understanding
  • Is especially useful for novices during the early stages of learning a concept
  • Highlights common steps taken when solving problems

As learners become more capable these benefits reduce and worked examples can begin to hinder learners. As with many types of scaffolding and support, worked examples should be faded out as needed.

Read more in October's Pedagogy Quick Read and check out our previous quick read on Cognitive Load Theory