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Learning with worked-out examples (BiBA)

Enhancing the quality of self-explanations and problem solving skills by learning with worked examples

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Learning with worked examples in combination with self explaining the given solution was shown to be effective for enhancing problem-solving skills in many domains. Thereby it is often emphasized but rarely considered that learning depends on prior knowledge. Many studies compare participants with low and with high prior knowledge in a contrastive approach. Although students with medium prior knowledge are representative in every day school life they were only rarely taken into account so far. In order to investigate which worked example features do enhance the quality of self-explanations and problem solving skills we compared different features in a study with biology students (Grade 10). The focus is on students with medium prior knowledge. On the one hand we vary the type of prompting which are adjusted on prior knowledge (novice prompts only vs. expert prompts only vs. transition from novice to expert prompts). On the other hand we examine the influence of different inter example features. In particular we  are interested in the effects of a sequence of worked examples with successively faded out solution steps. Here we vary the time of beginning the fading procedurce (early fading ot vs. late fading out). Results shall contribute to develop appropriate and domain specific learning material that enhances the problem solving skills by learning with biological worked examples.