The consequences of fading instructional guidance on delayed performance: the case of financial services training
Empirical studies within a cognitive load framework have determined that for novice learners, worked examples provide appropriate levels of instructional guidance. As learners advance in specific subject domains, worked examples should be gradually replaced by practice problems with limited guidance. This study compared performance, both immediately post-instruction and delayed, following instruction under different conditions: using example-problem pairs, using gradual fading of worked examples, and using pure problem-solving. The study was conducted with employees of a financial services company in a classroom environment. Results indicated that the fading condition consistently outperformed the example-problem and problem-solving conditions, and the advantage of this condition was enhanced, with statistically significant differences in performance, in delayed and transfer posttest performance.