I was reading Michael Pershan’s recent blog post on worked examples, and thought I would take a stab at drafting something up. Here is where I am at so far.

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## 4 thoughts on “Worked Examples Draft”

1. I love that you can really see four different strategies at work in these four examples. I find your use of color really interesting as well — it made me wonder whether we should read this as the work of a (hypothetical) student or of the instructor.

The other thing I was wondering about was how each example uses the same problem. I think I’ve only ever used different (but similar) problems in a set of example problems. Changing the problems has benefits, I think, both in helping students make connections between things that appear different at the surface, and also to keep things fresh and interesting.

BTW I love the area of a triangle approach. So cool, so calculus.

1. The colors are based on the book we use — green is velocity, blue is position, orange is acceleration, red is forces, etc. Students and instructors are expected to use them when white-boarding, so it wouldn’t be weird in my class. I definitely like your framing as a student, and I could totally aim for that too.

Different examples makes sense. I see in your other posts, you sometimes do two examples from the same problem to compare and contrast two approaches. I think that could help here … like maybe I need to ask what’s similar about average velocity method and area method. Or Why does d = vt work in one case but not the other? Or, why do the two wrong methods both overestimate the distance? In comparison, I think it helps to have the same situation. But four is probably too many to be the same problem.

1. Very cool with the colors. I love the idea that the visual space, in your case, could represent a whiteboard.

And, ah, I didn’t realize that you were aiming to compare and contrast two approaches. I’ve found it useful to put the two approaches side by side in those situations to really draw out the similarities and differences. (I often think about this IM activity, the one labeled “4.2.”)

As in that IM task, I really like two correct examples to focus attention on the strategies, though I think there are some other IM tasks that use two incorrect approaches and that can also be interesting.