When is Assistance Helpful to Learning? Results in Combining Worked Examples and Intelligent Tutoring
journal contributionposted on 01.01.2008, 00:00 by Bruce M McLaren, Sung-Joo Lim, Kenneth R Koedinger
When should instruction provide or withhold assistance? In three empirical studies, we have investigated whether worked examples, a highassistance approach, studied in conjunction with tutored problems to be solved, a mid-level assistance approach, can lead to better learning. Contrary to prior results with untutored problem solving, a low-assistance approach, we found that worked examples alternating with isomorphic tutored problems did not produce more learning gains than tutored problems alone. However, the examples group across the three studies learned more efficiently than the tutored-alone group. Our studies, in conjunction with past studies, suggest that mid-level assistance leads to better learning than either lower or higher level assistance. However, while our results are illuminating, more work is needed to develop predictive theory for what combinations of assistance yield the most effective and efficient learning.