The worked example effect, the generation effect, and element interactivity
journal contributionposted on 01.04.2020 by Ouhao Chen, Slava Kalyuga, John Sweller
Any type of content formally published in an academic journal, usually following a peer-review process.
The worked example effect indicates that examples providing full guidance on how to solve a problem result in better test performance than a problem-solving condition with no guidance. The generation effect occurs when learners generating responses demonstrate better test performance than learners in a presentation condition that provides an answer. This contradiction may be resolved by the suggestion that the worked example effect occurs for complex, high-element interactivity materials that impose a heavy working memory load whereas the generation effect is applicable for low-element interactivity materials. Two experiments tested this hypothesis in the area of geometry instruction using students with different levels of prior knowledge in geometry. The results of Experiment 1 indicated a worked example effect obtained for materials high in element interactivity and a generation effect for materials low in element interactivity. As levels of expertise increased in Experiment 2, thus reducing effective complexity, this interaction was replaced by a generation effect for all materials. These results suggest that when students need to learn low-element interactivity material, learning will be enhanced if they generate rather than study responses but if students need to learn high-element interactivity material, study may be preferable to generating responses.
- Mathematics Education Centre