Why and How to Use Worked Examples in the Workplace

3-Star learning experiences

Mirjam Neelen & Paul A. Kirschner

worked example 1You want to prepare a recipe that involves carrying out a number of steps. How do you do that? You usually begin with step 1 and work through the steps to the last step. If you prepare the recipe again and again, you probably don’t have to look at the recipe for certain steps (e.g., you know that you have to whisk the egg-water mixture) and so forth until you can prepare the recipe without looking at it. This is a specific type of learning with what is known as a worked example.

Learning through worked examples is a very effective way to learn how to carry out a task or solve a problem in an area where they have little prior knowledge (aka ‘novices’). For knowledge workers in the workplace, however, this learning strategy is under-utilised. This is unfortunate because integrating worked examples…

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