Provide fully and partially worked examples to support problem solving

Owing to the limitations of working memory, understanding new concepts and applying those concepts to solve a problem requires structured support.

Support learning in your organisation – whether with training interventions, resources, or coaching – by ensuring problem solving using new concepts is mastered through a gradual switch from worked examples to full problems.

Three steps labelled one, two and three. Someone's hand is shown placing a marker onto step 2.

Step by step…

To begin, provide fully worked examples to introduce learners to the concepts. Ensure that your worked examples are broken down into a number of easily followed step-by-step ‘chunks’, and ensure that you explicitly show and demonstrate all the steps completed.

Next, use a partially worked example to develop competence. Show some of
the steps completed, and other parts for participants to complete.

Provide further partially worked examples, only now begin to reduce the number
of completed steps.

Finally, present a full problem for participants to work on.

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