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Worked Examples


Analyzing and discussing solutions to problems helps students develop a deeper understanding of Problem Solving processes and Numeracy skills. Worked problems reduce the cognitive load for learners, as they do not have to solve the problems themselves but can instead focus their Attention on understanding and comparing different solution methods. Alternating between practice problems (interleaving) and worked examples can help learners monitor their thinking when solving problems, building Metacognition.

Use It In Your Learning Environment

Instructors can have small groups examine teacher or peer-created worked examples, supporting Numeracy skills and other Problem Solving processes as learners compare and contrast different approaches and solutions. When instructors have adults explain the problem to themselves and look at the efficiency of different approaches, they learn to intentionally use more efficient strategies. Having learners examine incomplete or even incorrect problems can also encourage critical thinking and develop Reasoning skills. Adult learners with low prior knowledge who struggle with learning math can benefit most from reflecting on highlighted errors within an incorrect worked examples intervention.

Videos are an excellent way to provide worked examples for adults learning new workplace skills and those in academic settings. Products can easily integrate such worked example videos (WEVs) into their instructional roadmap, supporting deeper conceptual development. When interacting with the WEVs, adult learners can take advantage of video controls to tailor and self-pace their learning which fosters a Learner Mindset. Developers can also provide banks of solved problems and tools for creating and sharing incomplete or solved problems with scaffolded hints within the control of the learner. Products can also provide audio recording features, so learners can record their thinking about a problem and share it with peers and instructors.

Factors Supported by this Strategy