Best Practice

Using worked examples: An alternative approach

Task design is a crucial element of teaching if we are to consolidate learning and encourage independence. In the second of two articles, Robbie Burns suggests further ways we can use worked examples to support pupil progress

In my first article, I explained how we can structure practice so that students can learn and remember more of what we teach them through worked examples.

I focused on how we can use backward fading to promote independence over time and applied this to maths and English examples. In this second article, I want to propose how we can use worked examples differently, drawing once again on the work of Sweller and his colleagues (2011), and recent work by Ollie Lovell (2020).

Worked example: Alternation

It is common to see practice structured using worked examples through backward fading, sometimes known as “I do, we do, you do”. However, Sweller et al (2011) make clear that this is not the only way to use the strategy. Indeed, it might not even be the best way.

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