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Testing the model-observer similarity hypothesis with text-based worked examples

By V. Hoogerheide, S.M.M. Loyens, Fedora Jadi, Anna Vrins and T. van Gog


Example-based learning is a very effective and efficient instructional strategy for novices. It can be implemented using text-based worked examples that provide a written demonstration of how to perform a task, or (video) modelling examples in which an instructor (the ‘model’) provides a demonstration. The model-observer similarity (MOS) hypothesis predicts that the effectiveness of modelling examples partly depends on the degree to which learners perceive the models to be similar to them. It is an open question, however, whether perceived similarity with the person who created the example, would also affect learning from text-based worked examples. Therefore, two experiments were conducted to investigate whether MOS would also play a role in learning from worked examples. In Experiment 1 (N = 147), students were led to believe via pictures and a short story that the worked examples were created by a male or female peer student. Males showed higher performance and confidence, but no effects of MOS on learning were found. In Experiment 2 (N = 130), students were led to believe that a peer student or a teacher created the examples. Again, no effects of MOS were found. These findings suggest that the perceived origin of text-based worked examples is not important for learning

Year: 2017
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Provided by: NARCIS
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