Guidance can help learners overcome the difficulties of getting started in a novel domain, but it is often ineffective in promoting learning and transfer. This article examines two aspects of guidance-communicating solution strategies for a problem domain and providing working memory support-in learning a novel problem-solving skill. Subjects in two experiments learned to troubleshoot simulated information networks. The learning environment varied in type of guidance provided-none, variable template, fixed template, and procedural instruction-and in availability of memory aiding. Variable-template guidance was effective when memory aiding was provided, and procedural instructions produced effective learning with or without memory aiding. However, fixed-template guidance was not effective, and there was no consistent effect of memory aiding in unguided, discovery learning conditions. The results have theoretical implications for the locus of guided-learning effects and suggest practical guidelines for the design of guided-learning environments.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Human Factors and Ergonomics
- Applied Psychology
- Behavioral Neuroscience