Teaching complex rather than simple tasks: Balancing intrinsic and germane load to enhance transfer of learning

Jeroen J.G. Van Merriënboer*, Liesbeth Kester, G.W.C. (Fred) Paas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

195 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Research indicates that effective instructional methods for practicing simple tasks differ from effective methods for complex tasks. But unfortunately, load-reducing methods that work relatively well to reach high retention performance for complex tasks, such as low variability and complete guidance and feedback, are precisely those methods that hinder transfer of learning. This article presents a training design approach aimed at high transfer performance for complex tasks. The basic idea is that learning tasks should always be combined with methods that induce germane cognitive load, such as high variability and limited guidance or feedback. However, especially for novices, this can only be realised by decreasing intrinsic load early in training by manipulating the element interactivity of the learning tasks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)343-352
Number of pages10
JournalApplied Cognitive Psychology
Volume20
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12 Apr 2006

Research programs

  • ESSB PSY

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